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Chat transcript: June 27
Remembering No. 1

Elton Brand was the first player from Duke ever to announce he would leave the school early for the NBA, and he became the first Blue Devil ever to be picked with the top choice in the NBA Draft when the Chicago Bulls took him at No. 1 in 1999. He lived up to that billing as a rookie, averaging team-highs of 20.1 points and 10.0 rebounds per game and sharing NBA Rookie of the Year honors with Steve Francis of Houston, the overall No. 2 pick.

Brand was one of only six NBA players, and the only rookie, to average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in 1999-2000 as he led the Bulls in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots, games played and started, minutes played and field goal percentage.

In his second season, the 6-8, 260-pound forward became only the second Chicago Bull in team history to average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in back-to-back seasons, and the first player in team history to accomplish that feat in his first two seasons in the NBA. For the year, Brand had 36 double-doubles, placing among NBA leaders in the category.

Brand chatted live on June 27.
JohnKoskinaris from lar.forthnet.gr at 3:39pm ET
Hi Elton?Does a day like this one and just hours before the draft bring to your mind special memories after being selected with the No.1 pick by the Chicago Bulls?

Elton Brand at 3:40pm ET
It does. It brings a lot of special memories from when I was drafted by the Bulls. All the eagerness and questions. It's a special time for me.
Joel from proxy.aol.com at 3:40pm ET
Who do you think the Bulls will draft this year?

Elton Brand at 3:41pm ET
I'm not sure. I'm going to leave that up to management. But whoever can help immediately. We need an immediate impact player. Shane Battier played four years in college, so he's ready, or a veteran would also help us as well.
ChicagoBleek from chicago.il.ameritech.net at 3:42pm ET
Elton, how much would you enjoy being reunited with your former Duke teammate, Shane Battier?


Elton Brand at 3:42pm ET
I'd be exhilirated. I was only in college for two years, but we definitely shared some fun times together. And he's a solid player, so put aside all the Duke bonds and I'd love to have him.
Brad Munro from salem1.or.home.com at 3:42pm ET
How do you like living in a town like Chicago??

Elton Brand at 3:43pm ET
I love living in Chicago. There's a lot of things to do and it's a great city. I also love the fans of Chicago. It's been a tough two years but they've showed a lot of support.
Jon Tierney from proxy.aol.com at 3:43pm ET
How do you feel about the rumors that the Bulls were shopping you around, especially to the Wizards for the first pick?


Elton Brand at 3:43pm ET
I just feel blessed that I'm in the NBA. If there's a trade, I'll just go to wherever I'm supposed to go and do the best I can do.
Toure from worldbank.org at 3:43pm ET
How much pressure was it being drafted at #1?

Elton Brand at 3:44pm ET
The No. 1 pick has a lot of pressure and high expectations. A lot of people expect you to turn the team around immediately. It's never over, though. It hasn't really lessened since my rookie year.
GPG from com21.casema.net at 3:44pm ET
Did you ever consider going straight out of high school to the pros? If so, why did you decide to go to college?

Elton Brand at 3:45pm ET
I didn't. When I was coming out it wasn't as prevalent as it is now. I'm such an old guy ... I'm so ancient ... Back in my day, when I came out of high school, you didn't do this. (Laughter) Tracy McGrady did it, and Lamar Odom thought about it ... and if it happened now maybe Odom and Brendan Haywoode would have come out. Times have changed.
ann lawell at 3:45pm ET
What was the biggest challenge that you faced in your NBA rookie year? And, overall, what are the obstacles/challenges facing new players?

Obviously, you have made a great adjustment to the NBA and have become the "cornerstone" of the Chicago Bulls. I wish you continued success and a great year ahead.
Best regards,
Ann Lawell

Elton Brand at 3:46pm ET
Overall, even if you dominate in college or high school, the players in the NBA are so much bigger, quicker and stronger. So you have to get accustomed to that.
Guillaume from Paris from proxy.aol.com at 3:46pm ET
As you played for Duke, is there any rivalry between former Tar Heels and former Blue Devils in the NBA?

Elton Brand at 3:47pm ET
Somewhat. Antawn Jamison, Vince Carter, and those guys, we'd talk about what happened in college, when Duke would play Carolina.
Jumpstop from proxy.aol.com at 3:47pm ET
What part of your game do you have to improve to be successful against a zone defense next year?

Elton Brand at 3:47pm ET
I think I need to work on dribbling, my ball-handling skills, and even my shooting.
jack from gis.net at 3:47pm ET
Do you find yourself a role model to kids?

Elton Brand at 3:48pm ET
Definitely. Anyone in professional sports, or in the limelight, who's seen by the public as much as we are, has an obligation as a role model.
cesar from nextlink.net at 3:48pm ET
What do you think about Eddy Curry and his skills? Is he ready?

Elton Brand at 3:49pm ET
I don't think he's ready now, but I've seen him in Chicago, but he definitely will be ready. He's got a great work ethic. He works very hard.
MavsFanForLife from txu.com at 3:49pm ET
Who do you think will be first tonight??

Elton Brand at 3:49pm ET
I'm not sure. I've heard a lot about Kwame Brown, Eddy Curry or Shane Battier, so it's still wide open. There might be a trade, who knows?

Elton Brand at 3:51pm ET
Thanks for all of your questions, and thanks to the fans in Chicago for being some of the best in the league!
 
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