I haven’t been keeping official track of Elton Brand’s basketball career for the past eight years or so, but I’d estimate he’s signed with the 76ers six or seven different times. Besides Andre Miller, there may be no other player in the NBA that you thought retired five years ago more than the 37-year-old Elton Brand.
The first overall pick by the Bulls in 1999 out of Duke, Elton Brand isn’t done yet as he as just signed a one-year deal to return to the Philadelphia 76ers, the same team he came out of retirement with last season. The six or seven times is an obvious exaggeration as this is officially the third time Brand has signed with the Sixers with the first being a five-year, $82 million contract in 2008 and the second being his return in January of 2016 after announcing his retirement in August of 2015.
It’s easy to forget that Elton Brand was at one time a really good power forward who one Rookie of the Year with the Bulls, was traded to the Clippers in the draft day Tyson Chandler trade, and then became the first Clipper since Danny Manning in 1994 (seriously) to be an All-Star when he made the team in 2002. It’s easy to forget because it seems like another lifetime ago. At his peak, Brand averaged 24 points per game and 10 rebounds per game with the 2005-06 Clippers and was really a pretty steady NBA contributor until a ruptured Achilles’ in the 2007-08 season.
His large contract following his Clippers days turned out to be a massive mistake by the Sixers as injuries took their toll and Brand’s play deteriorated on some horrendous Sixers squads. It was at this point that Brand began to bounce around the NBA with the Mavericks and Hawks as a bench player before finally returning to Philly.
There was and still is nothing flashy about Elton Brand and he’s widely regarded as a “forgotten star.” If he wants to keep playing and it appears that he does then good for him. The Sixers will probably take any able-bodied citizen at this point. Long live Elton Brand.