Elton Brand certainly didn’t spend the prime of his career in a Hawks uniform, but any basketball fan in general has to respect what a great career the big man has had. According to a piece by Al Coqueran of The Examiner, he was quoted as saying, “I could get in shape if I got the call but this looks like the end of the run for me, right now it is family time.”
It sounds like this is the end for Elton, after 16 seasons in the NBA. Brand was selected with the 1st overall pick in the 1999 Draft by the Chicago Bulls. He lived up to the expectations immediately, averaging over 20 points and 10 rebounds per game as a rookie. He shared Rookie of the Year honors with Steve Francis. However, just two seasons later, he would go on to make his first All-Star Team after being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Brand would go on to be the Clippers’ superstar for the next 6 seasons, but he ruptured his Achilles in the 2007-08 campaign and only played in 8 games. He then signed a big contract with the 76ers, but regressed as age and injuries caught up with him, leading to him being amnestied by the Sixers after four seasons. Brand went on to play a season with the Mavericks, and has spent the last two seasons with the Atlanta Hawks.
Elton has been effective when called upon in his time with Atlanta, but has had his role diminish through his tenure with the team. He certainly did not play many minutes last season, but when on the floor I thought he was most definitely an upgrade over primary backup big man Pero Antic. My hope was that Coach Bud was resting Brand’s legs for the playoffs, but he only appeared in 4 minutes of play during the postseason.
Elton Brand established himself as one of the best Power Forwards in the game earlier in his career, and though he is by no means a star now, consider this a testament to a great career. While we never got the best out of Elton, it’s great that he donned the Hawks uniform and gave it his all during the best season in franchise history. Ride into the sunset, Elton.