It wasn’t initially clear whether the Sixers wanted Elton Brand as a player or for a non-playing role with the organization instead, but coach Brett Brown likes having the 17th-year veteran in uniform, as John Gonzalez of CSNPhilly.com relays. Brand became just the second Sixers player older than 27 when Philadelphia signed him Monday.
“Because you wouldn’t believe what goes on at halftime when a coaching staff is in another room,” Brown said, explaining the value of having a veteran presence on the playing roster. “And you wouldn’t believe what goes on on the bench when you’re down 20. And you wouldn’t believe what goes on in a player’s mind when it’s a two-point game with a minute and a half left and ‘Do they know their assignments?’”
See more on the Sixers amid the latest from the Atlantic Division:
- Brown said earlier in the season that he felt it necessary to bear the responsibility that would normally go to veteran players, and just as Brand takes that burden off the Sixers coach, the acquisition of Ish Smith makes Brown’s job easier, too. Fellow CSNPhilly.com scribe Jessica Camerato has the details. “It allows me to coach less, which is good. I mean it,” Brown said. “There’s nothing worse than sitting on the sideline feeling like you’ve got to run the whole game, calling the play every single [time] — that’s not how I see the game. So when you’re playing with that pace, as long as you feel like you’ve got the right people on the floor and the spacing is the way that you want, then you let the game flow. I feel like he brings that to me, for me.”
- The Celtics thought Kevin Love was legitimately interested in their organization, coach Brad Stevens, and the city of Boston before he chose to re-sign with the Cavs this past summer, Celtics team sources told MassLive’s Jay King. Isaiah Thomas, appearing on “The Vertical” podcast with Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (audio link via Twitter), said that he tried to recruit Love to the Celtics, “but I think he already had his mind made up,” Thomas said of his former AAU teammate.
- The Knicks reportedly have interest in Tony Wroten, but the former Sixers combo guard is unlikely to wind up in New York, and he’s looking for someplace where he feels he has a better opportunity to stay for the long term, tweets Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.