NEW YORK CITY – They are two of the more established forwards in the NBA – San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan and Philadelphia 76ers’ Elton Brand.
Both have left their imprint on the NBA and had many battles on the court whenever the two faced each other throughout their careers. Whether it be in the NBA or at college when Wake Forest faced Duke, these two players have always brought professionalism and their best game whenever they stepped on to the court.
While covering the Steve Nash charity soccer event, I got a chance to talk with Brand one-on-one about Duncan and to no surprise, Brand had nothing but great things to say about Duncan.
Jeff (Project Spurs): Talk about your on-the-court battles with Duncan.
Elton: Yeah it’s been a long time. He’s definitely got the best of our individual matchups because he’s won the championships but seeing him at Wake Forest, I was two years behind when I was at Duke but he went on to play with the Spurs and win the championships. It’s good to see him still out there playing.
Because you know the difference between your body at 21 and 35. It’s a big difference. But to still be able to compete with the young guys, it’s a lot of fun.
Jeff: What did you think about his performance this past season?
Elton: It was amazing! I wish they would have won it (NBA title) in the Western Conference Finals but he was awesome.
Jeff: When you look back on your battles with Duncan, whether it be in the NBA or college, what would be your most memorable?
Elton: I would say in the regular season when I was with the Clippers. We were really hot, and it was a big matchup, they were number one and we really took it to them (Spurs). I think that’s my favorite matchup.
Jeff: What would you say about his game that people don’t know about?
Elton: Just the work that he puts in. He is left hand, right hand, dunk. He’s called “The Big Fundamental” but just the work that he’s put in. I’ve had the privilege to be around him during one of the U.S. Basketball teams and seeing how much work he puts in and how seriously he takes his craft is amazing.
Jeff: You looking forward to teaching the new crop of big man coming into the NBA next season?
Elton: (smiling) Oh yeah! Well let them watch. I’m not teaching them, they got to learn.
Also, in case you missed my Q&A with Spurs’ Danny Green from the Steve Nash charity soccer game, click HERE to read what Danny had to say about his free agency and more.