Elton Brand Signs With Sixers, Hopes To Mentor Okafor

Elton Brand

Elton Brand said he was retiring back in September, but returns to the NBA, signing with the Philadelphia 76ers... hoping to mentor to Jahlil Okafor.

In a piece written for Sports Illustrated's "The Cauldron", the NBA vet makes it clear that he's not coming back for money or a title, but to repay "what's owed, about making sure that the young men who follow in my footsteps get what they're entitled to [and what I haven't always given them]."

Brand, 36, goes on to say that he wants to be a "positive influence" for the 76ers, and specifically for Okafor, whom he says is "a good kid with a good heart."

Okafor was suspended for two games in December, after videos surfaced of him involved in scuffles in Boston in November.

This season, the 20-year-old rookie is averaging 17.3 points and 7.7 rebounds.

"He's not unlike most 20-year-olds you probably know, and he's definitely not at all different than most of his fellow players. Hell, if camera phones were around when Brad Miller, Ron Artest and I were Jahlil's age, we might've been banned from the league altogether, never mind suspended for a few games," Brand writes.

In 16 NBA seasons, Brand has averaged 16.1 points and 8.6 rebounds. He was selected him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1999 draft by the Chicago Bulls.