On Thursday, Doug Collins officially resigned as head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers. After a 34-48 season, Collins cited family reasons for wanting to walk away from the bench this time.
According to ESPN, with the combination of five young grandchildren and his son accepting a head coaching job at Northwestern, Collins just simply did not want to miss out on being with his family. At 61-years-old, he will walk away from the bench and remain in the 76ers organization as an adviser.
Collins deserves credit for what he did as head coach for the Sixers. He was able to bring this team back to relevance by bringing them within one win of the Eastern Conference Finals last season, and if not for Andrew Bynum’s knees, who knows where this team could be right now. Unfortunately, it just did not work out the way Collins and management had hoped.
Now Collins will step aside and accept the perfect role for him at this point in his career. There is no denying Collins’ passion for the game of basketball. You won’t see someone that coaches harder than him. You won’t find someone who takes losing harder than him. He gave everything he had to the city of Philadelphia to try and make this team better.
The problem is that his methods grew tired amongst the players. Players were tuning him out and seemed to lose the energy and effort required to compete on a nightly basis.
Now that Collins will be working as an adviser he will hopefully be helping make decisions in terms of hiring the new coach, the NBA Draft and free agency. Collins knows talent, as proven by the drafting young players late in the first round with outstanding potential such as Nikola Vucevic, Arnett Moultrie and Maurice Harkless. The problem was that he would not play rookies.
Now that he will be on the management side of things, he can use his ability to find talent and have a coach on the bench that is willing to battle this rebuilding process ahead.
For what he has done as a player, coach and just an ambassador for the sport of basketball in Philadelphia, Doug Collins deserves to be a 76er for life. By stepping down now, he can do just that while still enjoying being a family man.
Collins earned the right to walk away from the game on his own terms, and it was a classy move by the 76ers to allow him to move his career in a different direction while keeping him in the city he has always called home.