A Slimmer Elton Brand

Slimmed down and ready to go. (Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers have six new players on their roster. And that guy wearing No. 42 doesn’t look too familiar either.

Elton Brand is listed at 254 pounds on the Sixers’ roster, but he admitted in his Media Day press conference on Monday that it’s been “a few years” since he was last that light. And if you’ve watched Brand in his first two seasons here in Philly, the word “mobile” was not the first that came to mind.

So when new Sixers coach Doug Collins met with Brand early in the summer, he gave the power forward a goal: Get back down to 255 pounds by early in September.

When Brand checked in a few weeks ago, he was a few pounds under the 255 mark. Today, if you didn’t see his face or uniform number, you might mistake him for Thaddeus Young. His whole upper body is noticeably leaner.

In addition to slimming down, Brand took a different approach to his summer work. First, he was just happy to not have the word “rehab” on his daily schedule since he ruptured his left Achilles tendon in August of 2007. And with the advice of Collins and Sixers trainer Kevin Johnson, Brand didn’t start playing basketball until later in the summer.

“I feel the dividends from that now,” he said. “My legs feel great.”

A more mobile Brand would obviously be a better fit with the Sixers than the Brand we’ve seen over the last two seasons. This is a team that wants to take advantage of its quickness and athleticism on both ends of the floor.


  1. […] Un Elton Brand tirato a lucido si è presentato al Media Day che apre il training camp delle varie s…. Come richiesto dal neo Head Coach Doug Collins, Brand ha lavorato duramente durante l’estate, presentandosi così sulla bilancia a quota 254 libbre. Brand ha poi aggiunto di sentirsi benissimo e di non essere mai stato in tali condizioni fisiche nelle ultime stagioni. […]

  2. Most of the sports media doesn’t have an objective clue regarding Brand’s skill level. And even though he was coming off of an injury last year, he was the only player I thought was consistent and a “real” NBA talent. And although Iggy can defend, he is not a good shooter, nor does he have the skill level of Brand. Lou Williams, needless to say, has checked out; he just hasn’t panned out because, like Iggy, they haven’t mastered the mental game of offense. So who’s going to score if they trade Brand?

    Most writers go on and on about the size of Brand’s contract, but that’s silly. If the Sixers want to win, Brand must stay. I can honestly tell you that I cannot think of a better NBA player whom I’ve seen this past season who can turn and hit mid range shots more consistently than Brand. When he scores, he’s in another class. Hell, if the Orlando Magic would have had Brand posting up last year instead of the unskilled Howard, they would have challenged for the championship. And whatever you think of Brand, he plays with passion and doesn’t disappear like Vince Carter.

    Brand is still an exceptional player and if Doug Collins wants to start writing his ticket out of town in the next few years, it will be the moment he trades this great player.