The current era of basketball, at least from 2009 until now, can be considered a golden age for players at the point guard position. Almost half of the league currently has a former All Star point guard playing significant minutes on its roster. The decade before however should be recognized as the era of the power forward. The league was loaded at the 4 position, and many of those forwards were influential in how the players at that size play on both ends. In the upcoming month we will highlight a different former All Star 4 man on the fourth day of the week in a series titled “Flashing Back Forward.”
2x All Star, 1999-2000 Rookie of The Year
Elton Brand might be the least flashiest player on this list of power forwards. His leaping ability didn’t drop jaws, his jump shot didn’t extend to the three point line, heck even the most signature team he played on (the early 2000’s, head tapping Clippers) he was probably the third most memorable character on the roster. Regardless, there was one way for the former Duke big man to stay in the casual NBA fan’s consciousness, and that was production. Brand started his career winning Rookie of the Year in the 99-00 season. From that year until 2007-2008 he averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds on 50% shooting. The problem is that his teams only made the playoffs one time in that span, 2006, his best statistical season. That Clippers squad lost to the Suns in the playoffs, and were never relevant again until a racially ambiguous high flyer replaced Brand at the power forward position. Brand signed with the Sixers in the 2008 offseason, and injuries caused him to never be the same. Regardless we need to remember EB for what he was: a strong solid 4 man who was smart, incredibly strong, a good defender, soft shooting touch, a great rebounder, and just another example of how deep last decade’s power forward class truly was.