Desperate for veteran leadership, the Philadelphia Sixers—new front-office boss Jerry Colangelo, specifically—reached out to a pair of retired former players.

Jason Richardson and Elton Brand were contacted, and the latter agreed to re-join the Sixers‘ eternal rebuilding project.

Brand will serve, primarily, as prized rookie center Jahlil Okafor’s babysitter.

Per the Philly Inquirer:

The new chairman of basketball operations pushed for Elton Brand to sign with the team, the same way he orchestrated the hiring of Mike D’Antoni as associate head coach and the trade for point guard Ish Smith. […] “I think with Jerry’s connections with Coach K [Mike Krzyzewski] and [Brand’s agent] David Falk, that [helped] our desire to maybe bring in more senior voices in the program,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said of the signing of Brand, who played for Krzyzewski at Duke. “We considered a lot. . . . And Elton’s name just came up and we are able to get it over the line. But I kind of give Jerry a lot of credit for this one.”

 

The team reached out to former Sixer Jason Richardson in an effort to add veteran leadership. But Brand, also a former Sixer, was always the team’s No. 1 target.

 

Brand will serve a mentor for the young players, including rookie center Jahlil Okafor. Okafor, 20, has had his share of publicized off-court incidents. Brand and Okafor played for Krzyzewski at Duke. […] Brand knows about Okafor “just from what Coach K said and hearing about this young, talented kid from Chicago and the moves he had,” Brand said. “Great kid. Just his basketball stuff. I didn’t know him personally. He might not have been born when I was with the Bulls.”