He was once my favorite Clipper. He was a dignified, hard-working, "lunch pail" kind of player. He was intelligent, gracious, an unlikely star. He was grit, drive, strength, and effort, and he anchored a team that brought more excitement to the Clipper world than it had seen in over twenty years.
Four years ago, right about this time of year, he suddenly abandoned the Los Angeles Clippers. After apparently promising he would stay, he left via free agency. At the time the move seemed traitorous. Some of us have never really gotten over it. His departure began a chain reaction of events that completely changed the face of the franchise. There is not a single player from that team remaining. There is not a single coach. Only one major figure in the front office lingers.
Of course Brand never achieved the heights he did when he played for the Clippers (25/10 in 2005-6 with a whopping PER of 26.5). This morning, according to Adrian Wojnarowski, Elton Brand will be amnestied by the Philadelphia 76ers... the team he signed with on a five year, 80 million dollar deal back in 2008. In a few days Brand will be thrown into the amnesty pool we'll see where he lands. (Ironically, the space made by Brand's amnesty will be probably be taken up by Nick Young, another former Clipper on a one year $6M deal. More Woj.)
I doubt Brand will return to the Clippers. A lot of Clipper nation will disagree with me, but I wouldn't mind seeing him back... for his tenacity, his leadership, his dignity, and for the size of his heart.