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.”
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.