After a disappointing third season as Philadelphia 76ers head coach, Doug Collins may have finally overstayed his welcome. According to reports from the Philadelphia Inquirer, management is quietly hoping Collins walks away from the final year of his contract and resigns at season’s end.
The report goes further to say that the organization will not fire Collins outright because “they really want to avoid a backlash if the fans sided with Doug.” They are hoping instead that Collins will walk away from the final year of his contract so the team does not have to pay him.
Whether there is any truth to this report or not, 76ers fans should be rejoicing rather than taking the side of the head coach.
At 31-47, this season has been nothing short of a joke for the 76ers. Expectations were high following a game seven Eastern Conference Semifinals appearance against the Boston Celtics last season. An offseason acquisition of the second best center in the NBA, Andrew Bynum, raised expectations to a point they haven’t reached since the days of Allen Iverson and the 2001 NBA Finals.
But Bynum has not played at all and questionable moves such as letting go of Elton Brand and Louis Williams to bring in guys like Kwame Brown and Nick Young have proved to be a recipe for disaster this season.
The 76ers are clearly in rebuild mode. They massively overachieved in the postseason last year and had a harsh plummet back to reality this year. They won last year in spite of Collins, not because of him. They were at their best when Lou-Will took over games in the fourth quarter and got to the free throw line, something Collins would never draw up on his own.
The 76ers face an offseason with a lottery pick and a lot of cap room. This offseason could prove to be a big one for this team. The worst thing they could do is let Collins coach out the final year of his contract. He cannot have any say in who they draft or who they sign this offseason when he won’t be sticking around to coach them long term.
Coach Collins’ track record on the bench is the same with every team; He would have a good year, followed by a not as good year, and he would get tired of where he’s at and step down. He has never lasted longer than three years with a team, and this situation should be no different.
Collins doesn’t play rookies as we have seen in the past with Nikola Vucevic and Evan Turner. His style of offense is boring and lacks the ability to get to the free throw line. It also seems that players are beginning to tune him out, which is the ultimate sign to move in a new direction.
With a good core of Jrue Holiday, Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner, the 76ers aren’t too far away from being back in the playoff picture of the Eastern Conference. They are an impact rookie and a big name free agent away from having a shot to contend. They have the ability to obtain both of these things this offseason; but not if Doug Collins is the one making the decisions.