Good thing I didn’t jump to any conclusions about the Clippers being contenders once they agreed to a deal with Baron Davis last week, given the fact that, you know, Elton Brand had opted out and wasn’t a lock to return to the team. Why was it such a foregone conclusion that Brand would be back to team up with Baron? Because Brand said he intended to stay with the Clips. Silly me, what was I thinking believing an honest, former Joe Dumars Sportsmanship Award winner like Elton Brand? Look, I don’t blame the guy for leaving the Clippers — they’re not a desirable organization to play for. Nor do I blame him for chasing the money. I just think it was pretty rotten that both he and his agent deceived the public and the fans. Take for instance this quote from Brand at his introductory press conference in Philadelphia on Wednesday:
“My intention was to try to work out something with the Clippers. That was the idea and that was the goal. We were left with opportunities to have to explore because we were left with an ultimatum. My agent David Falk spoke with them directly and they couldn’t come together with an agreement. That’s when Mr. Stefanski and another team brought in some great offers and we had to look at the entire picture.”
The ultimatum to which he refers is that the Clippers supposedly laid out a $70 million offer firm, and that was it. But once offers from the Warriors and Sixers came in at higher amounts, the Clippers supposedly upped their offer to re-sign Brand. Check out what David Falk had to say.
“Coach Dunleavy sort of acts as the quasi-general manager in LA, had really gone to the mat on Elton’s behalf which I believe he did, and was able to get a certain amount of money from the owner. Mike explained that the owner really wasn’t comfortable making the offer, and that if Elton turned the offer down, the owner would be just as happy as if he accepted it.”
See, that’s David Falk trying to deflect the blame away from his client and shift it towards the Clippers. Not going to work here, pal. Reports actually say that Falk stopped communicating with the Clippers a week ago, unwilling to listen to their improved offers, and perhaps not even passing along that knowledge to his client. So maybe Falk’s the bad guy, trying to stick it to the Clippers.
Anyway, let’s not just bury Falk here. Elton Brand straight up admitted in his press conference Wednesday that he’s had playing for the 76ers on his mind for over a year!
“There was some talks that they would have some cap room early last season and that’s when it first got on my radar. Like Mr. Stefanski said, [on July 1st] he called at 12:30, I talked to David at 12:01 like ‘Philly didn’t call?’ so he let me know what was going on. They were on the radar the season before.”
Elton, I understand chasing the money and wanting to play for a legitimate franchise where you can be the star of the city and not dress in the small locker room, down the hall from the real team that gets all the attention in the town — the Lakers. You’ll never be the same type of star nor receive the same type of appreciation playing for the Clippers as you can playing for the Sixers. I get that. If Brand had just communicated that sentiment, I wouldn’t have any problem with it; he doesn’t owe the Clippers anything. But once he said he intended to come back, then he became deceitful, because he knew very well that he was going to sign elsewhere, and that just sucks. I didn’t expect this from you Elton Brand, not at all.Google+