Stefanski Paying Dearly For His Impatience

Doug DonofrioCorrespondent INovember 14, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - OCTOBER 28:  Elton Brand #42 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks for an open pass around Ryan Anderson #33 and Mickael Pietrus #20 of the Orlando Magic during the game on October 28, 2009 at Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

We can all go back in time and say Ed Stefanski, Philadelphia 76ers President and General Manager, made the wrong move in signing unrestricted free agent Elton Brand.

Hindsight as they say is 20/20, maybe just maybe Stefanski was a little impatient.

He sat there during the offseason of 2008 with a credible chunk of change to spend on the right piece or pieces to hoist Philadelphia into the top three or four in the Eastern Conference.

He brought Josh Smith in, but let us remember Smith was a restricted free agent at the time, and Atlanta had indicated it would match any offer made to Smith.

The potential match from Atlanta frightened Stefanski to the point of overreacting and committing himself to do something financially, or be frowned upon for not doing anything at all.

Could Stefanski have just not done anything and waited for the right player or players to become available at a more opportune time?

Could he have not signed Brand and went in another direction altogether?

What he did do was set this organization back another three to four years as they continue to struggle with Brand in the lineup and on the floor; a speed team that is designed to run and play transition basketball.

Would we as the masses have done something similar? Are we being to harsh given the circumstances he was in at the time?

The pundits will tell you this was a deplorable move and will haunt the 76ers for quite some time. They may be right. In fact the pundits are right, it was a bad move, a very bad move.

Considering the mere truth that Brand is an aging veteran coming off that devasting ankle and achilles injury; he most certainly could not nor would he be the same player as he was in Los Angeles.

Stefanski convinced and persuaded this town that he was the missing piece, a back to the basket power forward playing the game in a world of perimeter scoring, and three distance shooting, would suddenly alter the Sixers halfcourt attack in the playoffs.

He sold Philadelphia on the notion that Brand was the piece to help the younger players come along and develop their games. Is that really accurate?

Stefanski scoffed at the fans vehement dislike for a square peg in a round hole style signing. The square peg is becoming quite large and the round hole is shrinking by the second.

Time will surely tell the end result of this mess down South Broad Street, but before the mess piles up and the trash is taken out, take your binoculars and look in the stands at the Wachovia Center and realize less and less bodies are there to see it.