"It is frustrating," Brand said of the lockout. "It's not the finances, it's the game. I don't want to lose the momentum that this team had last season, the momentum that I had. I want to show more. I want to be a part of keeping the city excited about the the Sixers. I don't want to lose a season because of this. I've lost enough games over the past few seasons. I don't want to lose more."
In 2007-08 with the Los Angeles Clippers, Brand tore an Achilles' tendon and played in only eight games. During the offseason, he signed with the Sixers and played in only 29 contests because of a shoulder injury. Then came a dismal 55-loss season in which Brand and coach Eddie Jordan never quite saw eye-to-eye.
The hiring of Doug Collins as head coach seemed to rejuvenate Brand and raise his game close to the level of where it was in Los Angeles. He averaged 15.0 points and 8.3 rebounds and Collins consistently said that if Brand needed to be a 20-point scorer, he still could.
Brand, who says he is the Sixers' unofficial team representative, is a tireless worker throughout the season, ever conscious of finding that balance of taking care of his body during the rigors of a season and putting in the extra work to keep his playing level high.
It all begins, though, during the offseason.
"I really didn't change anything during this offseason as far as my workouts, even if there is a lockout," Brand said. "I always take my offseason training seriously and work extremely hard. Now that I'm getting older, I know I have to do it. I don't want anyone to have a leg up on me when the season starts. I came back to Philly anticipating that we will begin training camp on time and that the season will be on. I'm optimistic. But whatever happens, I'll be ready."
Elton Brand said that forward Marreese Speights didn't attend the recent player workouts in Los Angeles that Brand coordinated, because, "he is in a serious workout program in Las Vegas and didn't want to interrupt that." Brand said he talks to Speights about three times a week . . . Jason Kapono, who is a free agent, was the Sixers' player rep last season . . . The start of training camp is scheduled for Oct. 5 and the first preseason game Oct. 10 against Boston.
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