Thursday afternoon just before the NBA trading deadline was set to pass, 76ers power forward Elton Brand took to the airwaves on 950 ESPN Radio’s  Tony Bruno and Harry Mayes Show. 

First, we have to give Brand credit for actually coming on the show.  In the wake of Tuesday’s simply embarrassing, 30-point loss to the Miami Heat many NBA players would have cancelled on an interview for local sports talk radio.  So hats off to #42 for having the guts to face the hot seat that sports talk radio can be in this town when your team is stinking up the joint.

To say that Bruno and Mayes tossed Brand several softballs at the start of the interview is an understatement.  In our opinion there is no room for softball questions when a player’s team is 20-33 and was just scorched at home by 30-points.  But hey, that’s just us.  Eventually Bruno and Mayes actually got around to asking questions that Sixer fans want the answers to and in the end it turned out to be a decent interview. 

As for Brand, well he played it safe and avoided throwing anyone under the bus.  That’s always been his way since he entered the League.  No matter how bad the situation, he always plays the role of the good teammate and rarely utters a harsh word to the media.  Brand did hint that  he has been frustrated with the number of minutes he has received and Eddie Jordan’s tendency not to play him in key situations, but we’ve heard those insinuations before.  However, Brand did have a couple of interesting things to say about this Sixers team and Brand actually talks of making the 2010 NBA Playoffs.

After the jump are some of the better clips from Brand’s interview yesterday on 950 ESPN Radio… 

Bruno :  You look at this team and there are some good players…Dalembert, Iguodala, A.I., Jrue Holiday is a nice young player…Is it coaching?  Why is this team not better?

Brand :  That’s exactly what we’ve been working on.  We know we have the talent individually. Guys have had great games – Sammy Dalembert 20 rebounds.  Andre Iguodala is almost a triple double every other game.  We have a great bench.  We just have to put it together in away that we can play the best five out there that can play the best offense and the best defense.  I don’t think we’ve done that yet.

Bruno :  Were you surprised that the Sixers did not make a big deal (trade) with the deadline approaching?

Brand :  I was not surprised just because Mr. Stefanski’s quotes about he’s not trying to just dump salary and that if he finds something out there that could help upgrade the team then he would do that. But two weeks ago (Laughs) I thought something was definitely going to happen.  The last few days it didn’t seem like anything was going to happen, big.

Bruno :  Did you want something to happen?

Brand :  I love my teammates right now.  We have the talent.  We just have to have it out there at the right time and we have to run the correct sets to get us over the hump.  That’s it.  We still have 29 games to do that.  Eighth place in the playoffs has five more wins then us – as bad as we’ve been.  So we know that we can be right there.

Mayes :  I’ve scratched my head many times during this season at the rotations and finding you on the bench at key times in games.  I know it was frustrating for you, I’ve seen the quotes in the paper.  Describe your relationship with your head coach Eddie Jordan right now.

Brand :  It’s definitely been frustrating at times, but he’s the boss and those are the judgment calls he makes.  It’s really disheartening when we lose.  When we win, ‘Hey lets do it again and keep winning — whatever it takes’.  But when we lose and I don’t start the second half of a game and we go from being down 8 to then down 25 and I’m not out there, it’s very disappointing.  But he’s the boss and I want to win for him.  He hasn’t lost me as a player and I don’t think he has lost any of my teammates.  We still want to go out there, we still want to compete and we just want to turn this thing around.  But that’s been difficult especially not playing the 4th quarter of some games, then not starting…

Philadunkia Notes :

Elton also confirmed what everyone already knows – that Jordan’s infamous Princeton offense is a thing of the past.

Brand also talked about the empty seats down at the Wachovia Center and the fact that he thought he might get traded before the deadline.

You can listen to the entire Elton Brand interview here. 

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