After 17 seasons in the NBA, Elton Brand is calling it a career. Again. He first retired on AUgust 11th, waaaay back in 2015. Today, October 20th, 2016, he’s doing it again. But means it this time.
Elton Brand has decided to retire after 17 years in the NBA. "It's for real this time. It was a wonderful journey.” https://t.co/Dy3pLY6PyK— SB Nation NBA (@SBNationNBA) October 20, 2016
Brand was very, very good for such a long time that people seemed to forget his resume as a player. After dominating high school kids he went on to be part of a bumper crop for Duke basketball. There he took the team to the National Championship game, a loss to UCONN, but was still named the ACC Player of the year, a Consensus 1st Team All-American, and the national College player of the year.
Elton Brand was the first pick in the 1999 NBA Draft. And would bring home the Rookie of the Year award to the Chicago Bulls. Over his career he would also play for the Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers (twice), Dallas Mavericks, and Atlanta Hawks. He was on the All-Rookie 1st team, and the All-NBA 2nd team for the 2005-2006 season. The three time rookie of the month and one time player of the month was an NBA All-Star twice and that’s not nothing. These were coaches selections.
He wasn’t always the most durable player around, but he still suited up in 1058 regular season games and 40 in the NBA Playoffs. All in all, over 35,000 career minutes with career averages of 15.9 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 2.1 apg, 0.9 spg, and 1.7 bpg. He wasn’t a current era prototype for a power forward (no real range to his shot), but his game would find him a place at the table with the legends of more brutal years in the NBA. He was a banger, he had more than four post moves, and he played defense.
And that’s always been his game, in the NBA or against other nations — where he has three golds and one bronze. (Golds in the Goodwill Games 1998, FIBA Americas Championships in 1999 and 2003; Bronze in the FIBA World Championships in 2006) Being a star and champion on ever level, save for the NBA but dude played for the Clippers during his peak so let’s give him a pass, means he has a very legit resume. He’s Top 100 in NBA History for games, minutes, field goals made, free throws made, all types of rebounds, blocks, points, and many of the analytic measures. For example, he’s 21st all-time in offensive rebounds, 24th all-time in total blocks, 40th all-time in BLK%, and 37th in VORP.
It’s easy to make a case for him being a Hall of Famer one day.
It’s also easy for ME to make a case for him being employed by the Utah Jazz one day, as well. He has had an almost life-long relationship with the Utah Jazz’s current head coach: Quin Snyder. Yes, I detailed Snyder quite a bit when he was first announced (his coaching / front office connections here, his player connections here). But it’s also known that he was kind of a rolling stone. And when that’s you, you do end up meeting a lot of people and developing relationships.
There is no bigger relationship (either positive of negative) than the one Snyder should have with Elton Brand.
- Snyder and Brand first met back at Duke University. Snyder was an Assistant coach behind Mike Krzyzewski, and Brand was a freshman. When Elton declared for the draft after his sophomore season Snyder also left, and became the head coach of the Missouri Tigers.
- They would be reunited nearly a decade later, with the Philadelphia 76ers. Snyder was an assistant under Larry Brown, and Brand was having a throwback season with a strong 15.0 / 8.3 / 1.5 / 1.1 / 1.3 year in 2010-2011. In fact, it would be the second time in his NBA career that Brand would see the post season.
- Finally, now with the Atlanta Hawks in 2013-2014 the pair would work together for a third time in their respective careers. Snyder was an assistant behind Mike Budenholzer, and Brand was a veteran free agent signing. The Hawks would make the playoffs, but lose in seven games to the Indiana Pacers. Brand played the 8th most minutes on that team and really helped change the culture there. For what it is work, he was teammates with current Jazz player Shelvin Mack; and former Jazz players Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver, and DeMarre Carroll.
That doesn’t mean that Snyder is going to go out to Dennis Lindsey’s house and demand that the recently retired Brand join the Jazz coaching staff. But it does set up a pretty clear pathway to one day be part of a Snyder coaching collective, if Brand ever decides to go into coaching. They have that Duke connection -- which is bond. And they’ve worked together in other NBA systems as well.
What Brand has going against him is that, well, there’s no San Antonio Spurs connection — which seems like a more legit bond for Lindsey. But not everyone on the staff has a Spurs connection. Snyder is someone who does want to add guys to his staff that he has familiarity with. Igor Kokoskov, for example, was an assistant coach back when Snyder was the head coach of Missouri. DeSagana Diop? Not so much.
Obviously, the motivation for playing around with another Snyder/Brand alliance is partly due to the fact that Mehmet Okur is with the Phoenix Suns. I like star power on the coaching staff — even if it’s overpowering personalities like a Karl Malone. Malone doesn’t have “Jazz DNA” so he’s not going to be a coach here anytime soon. Brand? He has plenty. He’s someone who could really help some of our younger bigs learn about post play, defensive timing, and toughness.
Of course, when he does decide to throw his hat into the coaching circuit, most of our young bigs should be in their primes and not needing help with that. (Help with corner threes and free throws, on the other hand . . . ) Sometimes thems the breaks.
I do like the idea of Snyder and Brand working together — but I am assuming that they get along. I do know that when they are together the team is successful and wins playoff games. But I really don’t know anything specifically about their personal or professional relationship.
Most of us just remember Brand and Corey Maggette both doing what they needed to do as free agents years ago, and getting the raises that they wanted. But maybe in the future we’ll actually see one of those two guys here, working for the Jazz? Time will tell. Time’s really what Brand has right now as a new retiree.
Congrats Elton. You had a storybook career. Write at least one or two more chapters as a coach now!