Former NBA player Elton Brand is breaking barriers for African-Americans on the corporate side of the league. Earlier this week, Brand was appointed to become the General Manager of the Philadelphia 76ers; making him the fourth Black general manager in the NBA, ESPN reported.
Brand, 39, retired from the league in 2016 as a Sixer, the news outlet writes. He was the Chicago Bulls’ No. 1 draft pick in 1999 and over the course of his career suited up for teams that included the LA Clippers, the Dallas Mavericks, the Atlanta Hawks, and the Philadelphia 76ers. Brand is excited about leading his former team and hopes to transform the Sixers into a leading contender in the Eastern Conference through his guidance.
“The 76ers are on the cusp of something very special and the next 12 months are really important. I think that’s why I was the leading candidate, to bring stability to the organization and this group that I know really well,” he said in a statement. The Sixers are excited about bringing Brand to the front office. Josh Harris, owner of the Sixers, says that Brand will be influential in bringing in new talent. “I think we’re at a new point in our team’s development into hopefully an NBA championship,” he said. “We need to be attracting talent here. Certainly, Elton’s image and who he is as a person were real positives. But leadership and managerial skills and the things you’ve got to do in the front office that aren’t just about image, he’s got those, too. But certainly, that was a huge positive.”
According to Black Enterprise, Brand’s appointment comes shortly after Maurice A. Stinnett made history as the first Black man to become a diversity and inclusion vice president for an NBA team.