Elton Brand returns to NBA to mentor Jahlil Okafor — and perhaps spark some new Duke cardboard

Elton-Brand-Duke-AutoWay back in 1999, Elton Brand was a star center for the Duke Blue Devils — a center from tiny Peekskill, N.Y., who was about to make a big impression as the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft.

Fast-forward to today and the former Chicago Bull is coming out of retirement to join the NBA’s worst team — the Philadelphia 76ers, owners of a 3-33 record — to help mentor another former Blue Devils star and first-round pick, Jahlil Okafor. Okafor, of course, has had issues off the court this season while also picking up the NBA game quickly. It’s a match made in Blue Devils collecting heaven.

“He’s not unlike most 20-year-olds you probably know, and he’s definitely not at all different than most of his fellow players,” Brand wrote in a piece for Sports Illustrated’s website. “… if camera phones were around when Brad Miller, Ron Artest and I were Jahlil’s age, we might’ve been banned from the league altogether, never mind suspended for a few games.”

So, what about Brand on cardboard?

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