The Philadelphia 76ers can finally put the previous chapter of their history to bed. They have hired a new General Manager. They took their time in hiring this go around. Much different than the last time when they claimed to have interviewed 75+ candidates in an impossibly small amount of time before deciding to go with Jerry Colangelo’s son, Bryan. After Bryan proved himself to be an embarrassment by employing up to five “burner” twitter accounts and divulging private player information, he and the Sixers parted ways (but not before Jerry reportedly threatened the Sixers by stating they would regret firing his son). Sixers fans are relieved to be able to move on from this disaster. If only they had just kept Sam Hinkie… but we’re moving past Hinkie! Moving past might be too harsh as he is the founder of the Process and owner of a two bedroom cottage in my heart.
Let’s look ahead to the future. Elton Brand is the new GM of the Philadelphia 76ers. It feels good to have a GM. It wasn’t that Brett Brown didn’t do an excellent job in the interim, because he did. I’m relieved that I don’t have to listen to garbage twitter takes about the Sixers being GM-less anymore. Elton Brand isn’t a controversial figure, he’s a solid hire. He did a great job in his year as the GM of the Delaware Blue Coats, the Sixers G-League Affiliate. As GM of the Blue Coats, Brand was an integral part of the Sixers draft process. After Brand retired as a player, he was immediately hired as a Player Development Consultant. His 17-year NBA career surely makes him a favorite among players. Check out Joel Embiid’s tweet in response to the hire:
For those of us hanging on to the shreds of “The Process”, you’ll be happy to remember that Elton Brand is a “Process” Sixer. He’s been close with Brett Brown for the past few years and even said in his introductory press conference that he is looking forward to developing superstar talent. Brand was calm and articulate in Thursday morning’s press conference. He showed an air of confidence and modesty. It looks as though the ship will not be changing direction with Brand at the helm. The team will continue trying to add a third star while still focusing on developing it’s young talent.
He has a level of trust within the organization that Colangelo never could have attained. The time spent with the team and, specifically, the players helped to grow a rapport and trust that will serve him well in his new role. In addition to bringing the perspective of a former player and employee from within the organization, Brand is also a successful businessman. He is a founding member and president of Gibraltar Films, and has been credited as a producer on several movies including Rescue Dawn and All Eyez on Me.
While not all former players have been successful in team management, their knowledge of both sides of the organization is crucial. Pat Riley, Danny Ainge, Joe Dumars and Mitch Kupchak are all former players who have won titles as executives. Elton Brand looks primed to add his name to this list. Trust in Elton, Trust the Process.