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News » Brand not satisfied coming off the bench

Brand not satisfied coming off the bench

Brand not satisfied coming off the bench CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Allen Iverson, though small in stature, has cast a large shadow over the 76ers .

Lost in that shadow is the status of power forward Elton Brand, who not long ago was met in Philadelphia with much fanfare.

Brand, if you've been watching, hasn't been starting. And, if you listen, he is not pleased.

Since returning from a sore hamstring, an injury that kept him out of three games, Brand has come off the bench.

Yesterday at the Time Warner Cable Arena, the Sixers , who are 5-14 and have lost eight straight, practiced for tonight's game against the Charlotte Bobcats.

It will be the final game of four on a weeklong trip, and the team's last without its newly signed point guard, Iverson. He will make his return debut Monday night against the Denver Nuggets.

Yesterday, both Brand and Sixers coach Eddie Jordan spoke about Brand's status. And although they stood on the same practice floor, their viewpoints seemed miles apart.

"No, I don't accept it. . . .," Brand said of not starting. "I don't think I've done anything to merit a bench spot."

For the season, Brand is averaging 12.2 points and 6.6 rebounds in 29.1 minutes a game. In the last game the Sixers won, at home against the Bobcats on Nov. 18, Brand scored 19 points and had 11 rebounds. In the week leading up to that game, Jordan made it publicly known he was considering taking Brand out of the starting lineup.

Since returning from the hamstring injury, Brand is averaging 16.0 points and 7.5 rebounds coming off the bench. He has made 12 of 23 field-goal attempts.

Yesterday, Jordan was asked whether Brand would continue to come off the bench and whether he liked Brand off the bench.

"Yes to both questions," the coach said. "I try to get him his minutes anyway, and I want him in crucial parts of the game."

That's not the way Brand sees it.

"We're not winning either way, so I'd rather be out there and give us the best chance," he said.

Later, Brand added: "Winning is more important, whatever it is. That's why I'm staying positive, and I'm going to do whatever we need to do, because I feel like, hopefully, there is a goal. Hopefully, [Jordan] sees something, and we're going to start winning from it. But we're not winning."

Brand, who said he hadn't spoken with Jordan about the situation, said that there was no lingering effect from the hamstring injury, and that he would focus on playing the 20 minutes he is given and cracking the starting lineup.

He said it didn't appear that Jordan wanted to get him more minutes.

"Of course he wants me to play 20 minutes - that's what I'm playing . . . [so] that's what he wants," Brand said.

A.I. effect. The Sixers have yet to practice with Iverson; the team's first practice with its newest addition is supposed to come tomorrow at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

"We haven't played with him yet, so it hasn't impacted us yet," swingman Andre Iguodala said. "I don't know how it affects everyone when they say you're going to get a new teammate. You try to go out and play hard until he plays with you, and then you try to adjust."

Said Brand: "I know Iverson can help us and do what he does and be that scorer, but I'm sure he wants to start, too. So, we've got two guys that want to start."

Contact staff writer Kate Fagan at 856-779-3844 or

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 5, 2009


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