New 76ers head coach Doug Collins has said that he wants to meet with forward Elton Brand to discuss his plans for Brand in 2010-11. The good news os that Brand seems to be on the same page as he reportedly said recently that he should and will meet with Collins. However this critical meeting of Sixers basketball minds will not take place until after the NBA Draft, which as we all know is on June 24th. Doug’s visit with Brand is just the first stop in a series of critical meetings the new had coach will hold with key 76ers as he attempts to repair the damage done to this team’s psyche by the 2009-10 season. Here at Philadunkia.com we have given the string of player visits Collins is about to embark on this summer the title of “Doug-A-Palooza” and we pray that the “tour” comes off without a hitch.
Again the first stop on the “Doug-A-Palooza” tour will be Los Angeles for a sit down with Elton Brand, who as we all know was especially battered by the Eddie Jordan era. Until an official transcript from this meeting between Collins and Brand is made available, we thought it might be fun to take a crack a predicting how their initial conversation might go. We’d like to stress that the following post is a fake transcript assembled by Philadunkia.com that attempts to forecast the content and flow of the highly anticipated conversation between new 76ers head coach Doug Collins and Elton Brand.
Set up: New 76ers head coach Doug Collins rings the door bell at Elton Brand’s pad in Los Angeles. Brand’s butler answers the door and leads Collins into Brand’s man cave where he is playing video games. A quick handshake is exchanged and we imagine their first conversation goes something like this…
Doug: Nice spread you got here on the West Coast.
EB: Thanks. It fits my style — smooth and laid back.
Doug: So you have this crib and the “Rocky” house back in Philly?
EB: Yeah, plus a couple more. You’d be amazed at how far a good financial guy can make the “Philly Max” go.
Doug: I’ll need that guy’s name and number
EB: No problem.
Doug: Alright, let’s get down to business. I watched the game tapes, talked to some people and read the clippings from last year and there’s no doubt you got a raw deal.
EB: Thanks, I appreciate that. It was almost as if that other guy had never coached in the NBA before. I mean what was he thinking installing the Princeton offense with our roster? Plus he had me sitting on the bench at the start of the season telling everyone I was working my self back into shape. Then he had the stones…
Doug: Whoa, whoa big fella!!! I’m on your side here and there’s no reason to recount that whole train wreck of a season. I watched it happen from my analyst chair and believe me we had a couple of good laughs about it. But it’s time to stop pouting, turn the page, and start working on the 2010-11 season.
EB: But, I mean, did you see…
Doug: Seriously, that’s enough. It’s time to stop whining and concentrate on the future.
Doug: In an effort to be up front and honest, I think I should tell you something. If on Draft night, a sucker…err I mean another franchise calls about trading for the #2 pick and as part of the deal is willing to take your outrageous contract off our hands, you are as Harry Kalas used to say, “Outtta here!”
Elton, don’t cry buddy, it’s just the smart move. If I am going to get this franchise turned around, some of these ridiculous contracts have to go. Here’s a tissue, take a minute to compose your self. (Pause)
EB: (Sniff, Sniff) Okay, I ‘m good coach.
Doug: Now realistically, I don’t think we’ll find anyone to take your contract, not even the Pistons would be that stupid, so in all likelihood you’ll be back in a Sixers retro uniform next year. Again, I looked at the tapes and talked to some people around town and when you got the minutes, you’re play wasn’t half bad. Heck it was even solid at times. But this season I am going to need you to take it to the next level in a couple of areas if this team is to take a big step forward.
EB: Just name it coach. I’ll do anything you want as long as I get to play and we win more then 27 games. I can’t go through another season like last year.
Doug: Good. That’s what I wanted to hear. So, the first thing I am going to need from you this year is a much better effort on the defensive end. You have to be better one-on-one, on the help side and cutting off the baseline at all times. Ohh and you need to grab some more rebounds.
EB: Coach, that’s a lot of things to work on.
Doug: Yeah, I know, but those are the facts and if you want to see the minutes you think you deserve, then you have to get better on that end of the floor. Now I know that you prefer to live in LA during the off season, so I talked to your boys at HAX and we designed a host of drills to improve your footwork, speed and hopefully your lift. Now I know you still have a bad leg and your body has more mileage on it then a ’85 Accord, but I believe if you really bust it this summer and stick to the program we designed for you, you’ll be much better defensively in 2010-11 and thus so will the team.
EB: I’ll do my best coach.
Doug: Okay, great. The next thing I am going to need from # 42 will be a complete change in attitude. I know you like this image that you have built for yourself as a classy, “Mr. Nice Guy” type, but that does us no good. We have too many nice guys on this team. I need you to mix it up a lot more in 2010-11 and be an intimidating physical presence on both ends of the floor. I’m not talking about going Detroit “Bad Boys” on everyone or invoking the “Jordan Rules” on a nightly basis, but I need you to commit at least one hard foul a week and once in a while throw an elbow that draws a fine from David Stern.
EB: I have to discuss that one with my agent, my publicist and my wife, but I think I can get it done.
Doug: Don’t think Elton, that can only hurt the team. Just do it. Hell according to 82games.com, last year 37% of our opponents baskets were scored by bunnies, dunks or tip-ins. Additionally, my research from Hoopdata.com tells me that opponents averaged 27.7 “at rim” FGA per night last season – which was 8th worst in the League. That has to change and we need someone to serve notice that the days of strolling down the lane against the Sixers are over. Who else is gonna do that? AI9? No way. Thad? Not a chance. And certainly not a 7-foot, 240 pound, grossly overpaid bean pole who just won the NBA’s annual Citizenship Award. No this one is on you EB. You’re not going to get me 20 & 10 every night anymore, but if you can give me 15 & 8, play better defense and bring a physical edge to the court for my team, that’ll be just as good. Can you do that for me?
Doug: Alright, the third thing I need from you this year really has to do more with the mental side of the game then actual basketball skills. Honestly Elton I need you to be an assertive, positive leader for this team in 2010-11. I’m not talking about being the guy that all the local media outlets go to for quotes because he always says the right things. Being the mouthpiece of a team is not my definition of a leader. No, I’m talking about leading by example on the court and having a commanding presence in the locker room. Dive on the floor, make the hustle plays and set a tone defense that other teams have to respect. Behind close doors get in a guy’s face when it’s called for, call a players only meeting when there is a losing streak and show up to practice 30 minutes early and work on your game for 30 minutes after we’re done. In short, help me change the losing culture around the franchise. You’re an 11-year vet with two All-Star appearances, over 13,000 points and playoff experience on his resume. If you play like a beast and act like you own this team, the kids will follow your lead.
EB: Wait I thought this team belonged to…
Doug: And don’t stress about the idea that you grabbing this leadership role by the horns will hurt Iguodala’s feelings. They gave him a shot to make the 76ers his franchise and it didn’t work out. So now I’m moving on. I just need you to bridge the gap between Iggy’s failed attempt to make his mark in Sixers history and the moment when Jrue Holiday is ready to make this team officially “his”. Can you give that to me EB? Can you lead this squad for me in 2010-2011?
EB: Yes, Yes I can.
Doug: So let’s review what I need from you this season — play better defense, grab more rebounds, be much more physical and act like a real leader on and off the court. Okay that should cover it.
Great talk son.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go track down Iguodala and have a conversation with him about why a career 30% shooter should not be jacking up over three-hundred 3PAs in a season.