NEW YORK -- Elton Brand was two hours late arriving at a New York hospital for the birth of his daughter.
But the exuberance of having another child was still the same for the Dallas Mavericks' forward/center. And Brand knew who to give the assist to when Mahala was born at 3 a.m. Wednesday.
"My wife, she did a great job,'' Brand said after Friday morning's shootaround at Madison Square Garden. "I was late because I was coming from Dallas, and she did a gratt job, so I'm proud of her.
"So let's focus on ball now, the baby's here. I was always wondering "when, when, when' -- it's always in the back of your mind.''
Indeed, for athletes, when they're playing in one city and a pregnant wife is in another city, it sometimes can be a logistical nightmare trying to get the father in the same city as the mother in time for the birth.
"The (Mavs) team and the training staff and the wife had everybody's number,'' Brand said. "She could call at any time if I had to go, so they were great about it.
"I got there as soon as I could.''
Mahala weighs seven pounds and eight ounces, and Brand reports that she and his wife are doing fine. The couple also have a four-year old son.
"We laugh about it,'' Brand said, "but my wife did a great job and she's doing a good job taking care of the family.''
Brand, who missed Wednesday's game against Toronto but will play tonight against the New York Knicks, really wanted to be in the hospital room for the birth. But he didn't arrive until 5 a.m. -- two hours after Mahala was born.
"It was very weird,'' Brand said. "You try to plan (being there for the birth) as best you could.
"But you just want to be blessed and have a kid any time you can. It's a great feeling.''
-- Dwain Price
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