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Elton Brand among former NBA players to earn front-office job

Former Sixer is the new general manager of their G-League team, the Delaware 87ers

There has been an influx of African-Americans getting positions in NBA front offices this offseason after years of often being ignored.

Leading the way is Scott Perry as the general manager of the New York Knicks, while Steve Mills moved up to president. Some black former NBA players also have been getting opportunities, including new Knicks assistant general manager Gerald Madkins, Los Angeles Clippers assistant general manager Mark Hughes and Sacramento Kings assistant general manager Brandon Williams.

Add two-time NBA All-Star forward Elton Brand to that list. The recent retiree was named general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers’ G-League team, the Delaware 87ers, on Monday. He served as a consultant with the Sixers last season.

The No. 1 pick of the 1999 NBA draft played 17 NBA seasons and was the 2000 co-NBA Rookie of the Year with Steve Francis. The former Duke star averaged 15.9 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists during his NBA career with the Sixers, Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks.

Brand spoke with The Undefeated on Monday.

Why did you accept this job?

Because in my work with [Sixers general manager] Bryan Colangelo and ownership during the draft, pre-draft and summer league, I really enjoyed the experience evaluating the talent and giving these guys a chance to play at the NBA level. I enjoyed the opportunity, and it let me know that I could work in basketball.

Also the opportunity to be in Delaware. I’m based right here in Pennsylvania, and running an organization was very appealing.

How does your basketball experience aid you in this position?

I bring knowledge of the game of basketball, talent evaluation, and then I’ll gain day-to-day operational skills, transactional skills, as I go on. I’m looking forward to gaining those skills.

Do you have aspirations to be an NBA GM?

That’s still to be determined. I took one step as a consultant, really enjoyed it and am thankful for it. This opportunity with the 76ers has really led me to here, so I’ll see how this pans out. But this is a great step toward having the skill sets to be an NBA GM.

What do you think about the influx of blacks added to NBA front offices this offseason after years of struggle to get such positions?

There’s a wealth of knowledge and talent all throughout the world as it relates to basketball, and I think it’s great that people are getting recognized for talent and potential off the court, regardless of race.

What stands out about what you learned from GMs during your NBA career?

I learned from [former Chicago Bulls general manager] Jerry Krause, rest in peace, that you have to do what you feel is best for the organization and its future at all times. Really appreciate Bryan Colangelo allowing me to be a part of high-level decisions early on, and that really piqued my interest in management.

Marc J. Spears is the senior NBA writer for Andscape. He used to be able to dunk on you, but he hasn’t been able to in years and his knees still hurt.