First their were the reports based on “sources” that the 76ers ownership group was eager to have head coach Doug Collins simply walk away at the end of this season. Of course those rumors / reports were later denied and discounted by other reports from “sources” within the Sixers organization. Adam Aron stated that the Sixers wanted Collins back in 2013-14. Collins himself refused to comment on any of the reports when pressed on the topic on Friday night in Washington, DC.
Then late last night, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports “broke” the worst kept secret in Philadelphia when he reported that Doug has informed Sixers ownership that he in fact intends to resign at the end of this season. Yahoo is also noting that the Sixers ownership group and Doug’s lawyers are working on a buyout for the final year of DC’s contract.
So, DC is out of here. Which is something we said weeks ago would happen at the end of this season.
Our opinions on the decision after the jump.
The news of DC’s impending resignation has me thinking to myself about the damage done to this team in his time here. From the drafting of Evan Turner to the ink drying on the Bynum trade, this is too little too late. The 76ers are now in basketball hell, assuming the role of Sisyphus in Greek mythology. He was a King, whose immense Hubris led to a punishment after death of forever pushing a boulder up a hill, only for it to roll back down once at the top. Like 76ers fans, Sisyphus felt unending frustration with no real end in sight. Though in the end, Bynum being hurt all season was the best case scenario. While few would have understood, the public backlash of an 8th seed with a healthy Andrew Bynum isn’t something that DC deserved to endure, even though that is exactly what he deserved to endure.
The news of DC’s resignation only confirmed for me what we have known for years — Collins was out of here after this season. When he took the job, we knew based on his coaching career that he likely would not last more than 3 years here in Philadunkia nation. As this disastorous season progressed it became very evident that he was exhausted and annoyed with this roster. When began throwing his players under the bus in March, the writing was on the wall — Collins wasn’t coming back.
To be honest I am relieved that DC will be gone. The thought of living through another season under DC’s conservative “avoid the live ball turnover” and settle for the mid-range jumper offense was not acceptable to me. Additionally, I think this roster needs a young presence at the helm in the mold of Mark Jackson (GSW). So this change IMO is great. Still, a small and bitter part of me wishes that DC would stay on so that he suffers right along side us next year (and in 2014-15). After all he had a major hand in creating this train wreck that is and will be the 76ers. But now he just gets to walk away and go play golf. Seems unfair to me.
Doug Collins has always been a class guy during his tenure as a Sixers coach. I’ve always respected him as a person and wish the very best for him in his retirement. Whether or not he goes back into broadcasting remains to be seen, but I don’t blame Dougie for taking his chips off the table before things potentially get even worse for this Sixers franchise.
In my opinion, Doug was a solid coach. Yes, his rotations drove me nuts as well as his favoritism towards veterans, but you can’t teach an old dog new tricks as they say. When Doug got his players to play in the way he envisioned they found success. His ideal playbook involved suffocating defense, no turnovers and good shots. However, when your two best defenders (Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand) and best offensive player (Lou Williams) all depart in the same offseason and you can’t replace that production, can you really blame Doug for the teams record this year? He got the most he could out of his players the past three seasons.
Andrew Bynum played zero games, Jason Richardson played 33 and the ownership sat on their hands when it came down to making a move that would make this team better this season. In December I preached trading for a big that would help this team out as the status of Bynum’s knees became more and more unknown — it didn’t happen.
Doug coached two playoff teams, the first playoff series win since the Iverson days in 2003, two NBA All-Stars (Andre Iguodala and Jrue Holiday), a sixth man candidate (Lou Williams) and continuously had his teams competing. I don’t blame Doug this season. The Sixers collectively took a risk with their trades and signings. At the end of the day, it wasn’t Doug’s money signing the checks.
Doug Collins will not be back next year and it seems it was will completely his decision. Look at the way he trolls the sidelines and more commonly sits on the bench with his arms folded. He looks exhausted. He looks depressed. The man is 61 years old. He’s made for color commentary on TNT. Collins is an incredible basketball mind, but he’s not the young soul and charismatic spirit that this particular roster needs as its leader, so I am happy to see him go. I’d like to see someone in their early 40s, coach this team. I’d also like to see someone wear a tie as the coach as well.