Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Brand New Sixers

Eh. That was my reaction to the news that the Sixers signed Elton Brand to a five-year, $82 million contract.

While other Philadelphia fans are ecstatic, I'm torn. First of all, Brand is a Dukie. That is one major strike against him. Second, he's coming off one hell of a serious injury. Third, he's 29 years old. Now, by no means is that ancient, but with a surgically repaired Achilles, 29 is no spring chicken either.

Don't get me wrong, Brand can play. In fact, he was the first Coach K(KK) player to really succeed in the NBA without any injury problems (see Hill, Grant), until his stint on the physically unable to perform list last season. He's a perennial 20-10 guy, and in the Eastern Conference, he'll be one of the best power forwards every single night.

If he's the Elton Brand of old, he instantly makes the Sixers better, and even a major force in the East. Here's the thing: He's not Josh Smith. Granted, Smith is not as good as Elton Brand … yet. But he has the potential to be. In fact, he has the talent and crazy athleticism to be even better … maybe even one of those "special" players that don't come along very often.

I know, I know. The Hawks said they'd match any offer for Smith, but can't a man dream? I guess not when he's an actual GM in the NBA. I can't complain about the move really. Stefanski got the best available player and the biggest need for the team. He's doing a hell of a job. But I lament this move, not only because Brand is a Blue Devil, but because I won't get to see this in a Sixers uniform:

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