Elton Brand can connect with Fortune 500 business leaders, and he can connect with players in a locker room.
That ability to command the respect of NBA owners with his business savvy and relate to players due to his long career in the league is why the Philadelphia 76ers hired Brand as their new general manager.
Brand agreed in principle to the job Tuesday, two people with direct knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports. They requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly until the Sixers make an official announcement.
The search for a new GM to replace Bryan Colangelo, who was fired over a Twitter scandal, included Utah Jazz assistant general manager Justin Zanik and Houston Rockets executive vice president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas.
Brand, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1999 draft, spent five seasons with the Sixers, and joined the Sixers as player development consultant following his retirement from the game in 2016. He spent last season as general manager of the Sixers’ G-League team, the Delaware Blue Coats.
The Sixers also promoted Alex Rucker to executive vice president of basketball operations in a front office that includes assistant general manager Ned Cohen and senior vice president of player personnel Marc Eversley – all of whom are holdovers from the Colangelo regime.
The Sixers sought a general manager who also could work in a collaborative environment, according to those with knowledge of the situation. The Sixers ownership likes keeping the positive synergy already created by those still on staff.
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SOURCE: USA Today, Jeff Zillgitt