By now, you’ve heard the news: the Sixers have promoted Elton Brand to General Manager. This afternoon, Old School Chevy — or as Josh Harris called Brand, New School Tesla — addressed questions from the media during a press conference. Below, I’ve compiled some of the most notable quotes from the presser, thanks to the many members of Sixers’ media.
The #Sixers players are on hand for Elton Brand’s press conference.— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) September 20, 2018
Not a quote so much as an observation. The players being in attendance alone doesn’t necessarily mean they are full throttle in support of Brand, but it does seem that way when you include some of the tweets we’ve seen coming from players like Joel Embiid.
In his opening remarks, Joshua Harris says both Elton Brand and Brett Brown report directly to him: Brand for decisions off the court, Brown for decisions on the court. Will guess there's a follow-up or two to clarify what that means.— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) September 20, 2018
Joshua Harris: "Elton and Brett are partners, like in many, many great organizations in basketball. Both of them report to me and to ownership, and we expect they'll be collaborating a lot...Personnel decisions will be Elton." #sixers— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) September 20, 2018
We knew going in that it would be a major theme/talking point, and it didn’t take Harris long to hammer the notion of “collaboration.”
#Sixers GM Elton Brand: 'When it comes to trades, the draft process, I'm running that. I'll make my recommendations to ownership.'— Tom Moore (@TomMoorePhilly) September 20, 2018
Between the quotes in Bodner and Tom Moore’s tweets, we’re being told essentially that Elton Brand will take care of personnel decisions like bringing in players through the draft and trades, while Brett Brown will handle deploying their talents. Which... is.. well, is how a basketball team works. And that sort of makes this emphasis on collaboration odd — most teams DO utilize a collaborative effort in some way, shape or form, but someone is the final decision maker. To me, it’s not really clear who that is, even though Brand implied that he’ll be taking credit, good or bad:
Elton Brand: “I’ll take the hits when decisions are made.”— Marc Zumoff (@marczumoff) September 20, 2018
One of the “pros” of Brand leading personnel acquisitions, according to Josh Harris, is his ability to relate to NBA players:
Harris:— Brian Seltzer (@brianseltzer) September 20, 2018
"I think we're at a new point in our team's development into NBA championships. We need to be attracting talent here."
Feels Brand can help with that, and it's not just about image.
On the topic of whether or not the Sixers’ front office is complete, Harris had this to say:
Harris said the Sixers not looking to hire a president of basketball operations.— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) September 20, 2018
Stay tuned with Liberty Ballers, as we’ll be covering tomorrow’s media day. We’ll also have more reaction to the press conference and Brand’s promotion in general throughout the rest of the day and through the weekend.