The Philadelphia 76ers have not played a basketball game since March 11th due to the COVID-19 crisis. Since then, Marc Eversley has left the organization to fill the vacant General Manager position with the Chicago Bulls. The NBA has postponed the NBA Draft Lottery and Combine. And reports indicate that league owners are considering the possibility of delaying the start of the 2020-21 season until December. While there hasn’t been any basketball action to analyze, there are certainly plenty of concerns to address.
Elton Brand and the Philadelphia 76ers are hosting a conference call Tuesday, May 5th at 11:45 am ET. And while the presser won’t be able to provide concrete answers about league operations moving forward, Brand will likely discuss the departure of Eversley, the status of the team and players, how the team is preparing for the NBA Draft and offseason, and more. Stick with us for the presser as we keep a live feed of all the notes and quotes you need.
Start Time: 11:45 am ET
11:48 am: Elton “takes the podium” and makes an opening statement.
- Purpose of the call is to have a check-in
- Preparing for many scenarios, hopeful season will resume
- “NBA leadership is working hard to find out what we can do” to find solution, acknowledges “this is bigger than basketball”
- Have been in regular communication
11:50 am: Ben Simmons is doing “really well” in his recovery. Elton “Very optimistic he’ll be able to play if and when things resume.”
11:52 am: Brand says the Sixers are preparing for a different environment when it comes to drafting. Very excited about potentially having five picks.
11:53 am: The Sixers bought players equipment for their homes so they can stay in shape. Focused on keeping them healthy both mentally and physically.
11:56 am: Asked if he’s seen enough play to make offseason judgments, Elton says he can’t speculate and pretty much misdirects to being hopeful the season will resume. Understandable, in my opinion. Also good question. What can you do.
11:58 am: Elton jokes that team is connecting through virtual happy hours about basketball and life and that he doesn’t know why he hasn’t been invited.
11:58 am: Elton notes the importance of mental health.
12:00 pm: “I’d like to congratulate Marc Eversley. Dream come true for him. He’s a talented exec.” Elton notes that he’s proud of what they currently have, noting the years of league experience among his staff. No timeline to replace Eversley.
12:01 pm: “We’re creating scenarios regarding if the season continues, free agency, and on and on and on.”
12:02 pm: “I had to create some boundaries.” Brands notes the need to find a balance in life right now.
12:04 pm: Wants to see the team in the playoffs and are preparing as if they are going to go to the playoffs.
12:05 pm: Asked if he’s worried about the competitive advantage some teams will have in returning to the gym before others, “I wish everyone could open at the same time but that’s just not the reality.”
12:07 pm: Asked if Ben Simmons would be ready to play if playoffs started today: “It’s tough because him not playing 3 on 3s, 5 on 5s.... tough to speculate there.” But seeing him in his workouts, “highly encouraged.” Brand: “Hard to speculate, but he’s been working hard and would be close or ready.”
12:11 pm: Asked about playing without fans in stands and which team the Sixers will be (home vs. away) in a neutral setting: “We were really great at home. Number one team in the NBA actually. We know what our fans provide us. If it is at a neutral site, I don’t know how our players will respond and what that measn for us. But they will be prepared. I’d lead toward the homecourt, they’re gonna kick some ass.”
12:13 pm: Elton says he thinks the 2020 NBA Draft class is a deep class. Could be some gems. Might take some fliers on potential, might be players that can help now, will approach with a full scope.
Brand on Jackie McMullen piece about Ben not shooting:"We are going to encourage him to shoot." "Where he is as a player, he is very dominate..." "He's going to grow into that."— Jon Johnson (@jonjohnsonwip) May 5, 2020