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.