A Few Minutes With……

By Anthony Harris
Updated: December 4, 2004

Elton Brand

NEW YORK — Los Angeles Clippers forward Elton Brand offers a good example of perspective these days when so many are trashing the African American segment of the NBA.

Brand, in his sixth season, has been a model of consistency from the moment he entered the league.

He shared co-rookie of the year honors with Steve Francis after the 1999-2000 campaign when he averaged a double-double.

In fact, throughout his career you can pencil him in for double digits in scoring and on the boards.

Furthermore, you could even forgive the Peekskill, New York native if he was a bit bitter for the NBA hand he’s been dealt – two years with the Chicago Bulls and this his fourth in The Staples Center with the wrong L.A. basketball team.

However, he’s never complained, and has been considered the leader of both franchises.

Away from the court he’s not obsessed with self and thinks of others, but how often are we told of the good he does?

Conversely, there’s the man who signs his paychecks, Clippers owner Donald Sterling who has run the franchise since 1981 and can only boast of 10 playoff games during that infamous run.

Moreover, the real estate mogul has brought negative attention to the franchise.

He has been sued for refusing to rent out apartments to African Americans and Hispanics, as well as sexual harassment.

But how often are we told of such transgressions?

Q: You’ve been in the league for a while now how are you adjusting

A: There’s still a lot I have to improve on, but the team right now is starting to come around and that’s a positive thing

Q: Must be nice to come back to the New York area

A: Oh yeah, my family, friends, my sister gets to come down to the games, so it’s always fun getting back

Q: Tell me a bit about how things are going with your foundation

A: It’s going well, we started with helping underprivileged children and single parent homes get computers and things like that, because if they are not computer literate they are behind in the world, so I just wanted them to have the same opportunity as other kids.

Q: How important is it to you to give back

A: It’s important, I want them to have the best opportunities that they can and I know some of those opportunities I wouldn’t have had if I didn’t have somebody like that

Q: You left Duke early becoming the first player to announce it and first to be selected top overall, happy you did it

A: Oh yeah, oh yeah. I talk to coach K all the time, except tournament time, but we do speak a lot.

Q: What are the goals for this team this season

A: Playoffs, playoffs is the goal I think if we keep playing the defense that we are playing I think that can be a real thought

Q: The impression from afar with the Clippers is that why would anyone want to be there. Is this some place you want to stay

A: Anything can happen, but I definitely want to be here now and definitely turn the corner and do something positive with this team. That is the perception; there definitely is a negative perception from the fans, the referees and everybody. So we have to try and change that perception around and you do that by winning.