Thomas Terrell Brandon (born May 20, 1970) is an American retired professional basketball player. He played for three teams during his 11-year career in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Brandon attended the University of Oregon, leading his team to the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) in 1989-90 as a freshman. He then went on to hold several school records: career- and single-season scoring average, assists in a single game (13), single-season steals (twice), and single-game steals (eight). Brandon earned team MVP honors in 1990 and ‘91. After being an honorable mention All-American, he became the first Oregon player to leave school early for the NBA.
Brandon was selected 11th overall in the 1991 NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he spent the first six years of his career in Cleveland, sitting under teammate Mark Price until he was traded in 1995, then being selected to play in the NBA All-Star Game in 1996 and 1997. Many regarded Brandon as one of the better point guards in the NBA during the mid-1990s, among them Sports Illustrated, who labeled him “The Best Point Guard in the NBA” in a 1997 issue. He was also awarded the NBA Sportsmanship Award in 1997, for his work with underprivileged youth. Brandon would hold basketball camps, even counting LeBron James as a 7th grade participant.
In September 1997, the Cavs sent Brandon, along with Tyrone Hill and a 1998 1st round pick (top-10 protected), to the Milwaukee Bucks, who traded Vin Baker to the Seattle SuperSonics, who dealt Shawn Kemp to Cleveland. He played two years for the Bucks before being traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves. However, he was often plagued by injuries and on February 13, 2002, he was placed on the injury list by the Timberwolves, from which he did not return. It was during his stint with the Timberwolves that Brandon would get to team up and mentor Chauncey Billups.
On July 23, 2003, Brandon was traded to the Atlanta Hawks for salary cap purposes. He was waived by the Hawks on February 17, 2004, two years after his last game, and on March 9 he announced his retirement. Brandon finished his career averaging 13.8 points, three rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.58 steals per game, and came within six points of scoring 10,000 in his career. His career-high for assists registered in a game was 16, which he accomplished five times. He was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 2006
Career highlights and awards
2× NBA All-Star (1996, 1997)
NBA All-Rookie Second Team (1992)
NBA Sportsmanship Award (1997)
Pac-10 Player of the Year (1991)
2× First-team All-Pac-10 (1990, 1991)
Points 9,994 (13.8 ppg)
Assists 4,407 (6.1 apg)
Steals 1,142 (1.6 spg)