76ers’ Brand is out for season
Elton Brand’s comeback from a separated right shoulder is over and the two-time All-Star power forward will have season-ending surgery on Monday.
All the Philadelphia 76ers got in the first year of a five-year, $80-million contract from the player they expected to help win them a round or two in the Eastern Conference playoffs was an average of 13.8 points and 8.8 rebounds in 29 games.
“It’s the most disappointed I’ve ever been in my career,” Brand said Thursday. “This was supposed to be special. This was supposed to be winning, supposed to be fun. Management believed in me. I’m still not going to let them down.”
Brand was injured in a game Dec. 17 against Milwaukee, opted for rest and rehabilitation instead of surgery, and returned after missing 16 games over a six-week layoff.
But it was clear almost from the start he wasn’t the same.
The Sixers tried to ease Brand back into the lineup and used him off the bench in the last six games. He never showed the form that made him one of only four active players to average a career double-double. He was hesitant to shoot and admits all that pounding and banging down low with the likes of Yao Ming made him think twice about going up strong with the ball.
The MRI results were reviewed by team doctor Jack McPhilemy and Dr. Craig Morgan, of the Morgan-Kalman Clinic in Wilmington, Del., who concluded that the initial tear of the labrum in Brand’s right shoulder is responsible for a considerable decrease in the range of motion and instability.
The surgery will take place at the Wilmington Surgery Center.
“I felt the pain, I felt not being able to rebound, not being able to straighten it on a shot,” Brand said.
Bogans, Lue traded
Orlando traded shooting guard Keith Bogans to Milwaukee for point guard Tyronn Lue after the Southeast Division-leading Magic lost All-Star Jameer Nelson to a serious shoulder injury.
Milwaukee, which also got cash in the deal, is without top scorer Michael Redd for the rest of the season after he tore ligaments in his left knee in a win against Sacramento on Jan. 24.
“Tyronn is a veteran point guard who fits in well with our style of play,” Magic General Manager Otis Smith said of the former Laker in a statement. “He shoots well from three-point range and adds needed depth at that position.”
Allen an All-Star
Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen will replace Nelson next week in the NBA All-Star game.
Allen was added to the Eastern Conference team Thursday by Commissioner David Stern after Nelson was forced to pull out because of a torn labrum in his right shoulder.