Farewell, Doug Collins. Today it became official; Collins is no longer the coach of the Philadelphia 76ers. In a press conference with majority-owner, Josh Harris, Collins became emotional twice announcing his resignation and future plans.
“I’m a Sixer for life.”, Collins said. The 61 year old head coach came across as genuine in the resignation announcement. While coaching in the NBA again is not something he plans to do, he will serve as an advisor to Harris, who admittedly does not have the greatest knowledge of basketball, for five years.
Collins said he made the decision to resign around Christmas and just did not inform anyone. His decision had nothing to do with the remainder of the season according to him, he planned to resign regardless.
Harris said he tried to talk Collins out of resigning, despite what the reports have said. The Sixers’ owner completely disregarded the rumors that the organization wanted the head coach gone as completely untrue. “I would love for Doug Collins to be back as my head coach next year.”, Harris stated.
In three years under Collins, the Sixers made playoff appearances twice. The team won their first playoff series in nine years last year, defeating the Chicago Bulls without Derek Rose and Joakim Noah. 110-120 is the record Doug Collins will finish with as the Sixers’ head coach. In eleven years total as a head coach, his record stands at 442-407. In the press conference, Collins made a point many may toss aside after such a disappointing season, but a point nevertheless. “We’ve won eight playoff games in two years, the Knicks have won one in twelve years.”, Collins said. If he wanted to, he could have made an even better case for the job he has done in Philly. The Sixers won seven playoff games alone last season, taking the Boston Celtics to seven games in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.
Key Sixers’, Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young, spoke very highly of Collins, stating that the head coach was a major part of their growth over the last three seasons. Jrue was an All-Star for the very first time this season, and Thad proved himself to be a capable starter in the NBA. Young referred to Collins as the best coach he’s ever had while Holiday called him “my man”.
Collins plans to spend more time with his five grandchildren and watch his son, Chris, coach at Northwestern. Chris was recently hired after being an assistant at Duke so Doug could easily shift his focus to watching his son’s games and offering him help as he sees fit. Returning to TNT as an NBA analyst remains in the realm of possibility as well. Collins is viewed as one of the best in the business when it comes to calling NBA games so that could be refreshing for him after devoting countless hours to coaching.
Harris would like to hire a coach before the NBA Draft on June 27th, but says he won’t rush to hire a guy that’s not the “right coach”. Collins hopes his Associate Head Coach of three years, Michael Curry, is considered for the job. Curry does have head coaching experience, taking the Detroit Pistons to the playoffs in his one and only year. The plan is for General Manager Tony DiLeo to run the basketball operation with Rod Thorn as a consultant, according to Harris.