The next generation of NBA players becoming NBA general managers is almost here. : ThyBlackMan

Monday, May 20, 2019

The next generation of NBA players becoming NBA general managers is almost here.

September 25, 2018 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Sports, Weekly Columns

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( There is no such thing as an off-season in the NBA. As NBA training camps open up and teams assemble to make a run for the playoffs or the NBA championship, the latest news for the National Basketball Association has been the horrific findings of sexual harrassment and abuse in the Dallas Mavericks organization and the Minnesota Timberwolves and their star Jimmy Butler’s saga of his immediate future with the team. Things got so strange that former NBA player Stephen Jackson got into an entertaining social media back and forth with current Timberwolves swingman Andrew Wiggins regarding Butler’s potential departure. As entertaining and interesting as the Butler situation is and has been, the Philadelphia 76ers decided to make an actual important basketball decision earlier this month with the hiring of former 76ers player Elton Brand to the team’s general manager position. Brand’s hiring is noteworthy on a number of levels as a new generation of NBA decision makers replace some of the league’s more established names.

The Philadelphia 76ers have had a vacancy for their general manager position since the departure of former president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo’s strange social media controversy came to light. The future of the team appears to be very bright with two major building blocks in talented center Joel Embiid and NBA Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons helping lead the team back to the NBA playoffs last season after a long layoff. Prior to last season, 76ers’ fans had to endure one of the toughest stretches in NBA history as the franchise was accused of “tanking” NBA seasons to procure high-end NBA talent in the NBA Draft during a stretch where fans had to “trust the Process”. Now, only the Boston Celtics appear to have a brighter future than Philadelphia among Eastern Conference teams. Elton Brand’s emergence as the man largely responsible for the important personnel decisions of the team seems surprising considering he played in the NBA as recently as 2016 but it should not.

Elton Brand immediately began working towards his new position after his retirement as a player in 2016. He worked as the General Manager of the 76ers’ NBA G League, the NBA’s developmental league, affiliate and most recently Vice President of Basketball Operations for the 76ers so he has some significant experience in his brief, post playing career. His own playing career will help him in this role as he went from collegiate All-American to the first overall pick of the 1999 NBA Draft so he will be used to high expectations that are currently placed on this Philadelphia franchise that was also in the running for the LeBron James sweepstakes over the summer of 2018. Brand was charged with leading the Chicago Bulls out of the post-Michael Jordan era after he was selected first overall in 1999. Although he never became a NBA superstar, Brand’s career was one to be proud of due to his production, character, and overcoming some significant injuries.

The hiring of Elton Brand also kick starts a potentially new generation of former NBA players becoming NBA general managers, presidents, or front office decision makers. Counting Brand himself, there are eight former NBA players who are the general managers for the 30 NBA teams and only two black former NBA players who are general managers. This doesn’t count NBA personalities like Magic Johnson, who is president of the Lakers, or Michael Jordan, who owns the Charlotte Hornets and makes many of the important personnel decisions. There emerging NBA front office executives like current assistant general manager of the Brooklyn Nets Trajan Langdon, who attended Duke like Brand did, and current assistant general manager of the Detroit Pistons Malik Rose, who won NBA titles with the Spurs as a player. Brand and these executives want to show that they can call the shots as well as they made them as players.

Staff Writer; Mark Hines

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