Elton Brand, No. 1 Overall Pick Of 1999 NBA Draft Retires
BY: John “Hennry” Harris
Elton Brand, the top pick of the 1999 NBA Draft, announced his retirement after 16 seasons in the league.
Brand, 36, was drafted by the Chicago Bulls out of Duke University. As a sophomore, Elton Brand was a powerful inside presence for a Duke team that is widely regarded as one of the most talented teams in recent NCAA history. Brand led the Blue Devils to the championship game of the Final Four where they were upset, many say due to overconfidence, by the Connecticut Huskies.
Brand was named the consensus National Player of the Year and decided to leave Duke after only his sophomore season. Elton Brand, along with junior William Avery and freshman Corey Maggette, were the first three players under Mike Krzyzewski to not play four full years at Duke and leave early for the draft.
The center and power forward earned Co-Rookie of the Year honors for the Bulls, which he shared with the Houston Rockets’ Stevie Francis. In his rookie season, Brand averaged 20.1 points and 10 rebounds per game and was hailed as the cornerstone of a possible new Chicago dynasty. Brand was able to use his wide body and surprising athleticism for a man his weight to out-muscle opponents in the low post.
Brand was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers after two seasons in the league, where he was named to the NBA All-Star Game twice. Brand suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon and missed most of the 2007-08 season and was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, where he spent four seasons.
After his Achilles tendon injury, Brand was not quite the same player, lacking his inside strength and explosiveness that made him such a dominating player.
Brand went on to play one season with the Dallas Mavericks and two more seasons in Atlanta, where he saw limited action. The Atlanta Hawks had the best record in the Eastern Conference last season but eventually lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Elton Brand averaged 16.1 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.7 blocked shots a game in over 1,041 NBA games. In the playoffs, Brand averaged 12.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots and assists. Brand has played in 40 playoff games with 30 of them as a starter.
Powered by Facebook Comments