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Potential Coaches

I don't want Collins unless all the info in "When Nothing Else Matters" is untrue. The book paints him as extremely petty, hyper-sensitive, and just a bad coach.

I do think he's an excellent broadcaster though.

I'm not familiar with the book, worth a read?

Nick reply to Brian on May 6 at 13:20

Yeah, it's decent, probably a little too long. A Washington Post report spends the year with MJ and the Wizards. Jordan comes off in a very negative light, which is unusual since the press normally fawned all over him for fear of losing access. As for Collins, he basically let Jordan walk all over him and then took out his angst on all the other players, and he was completely irrational in many of his actions. It didn't take very long for the locker room to become a complete disaster.

Chris reply to Nick on May 6 at 20:13

You are referring to the final Jordan years documented in the book "Nothing Else Matters". Yeah, neither Jordan or Collins come off very well in that book. Collins comes off as a bright guy who was ruled by his emotions and spent a lot of time trying to placate Jordan. We won't have Jordan around to cause Collins grief but he'll still have the problems keeping his emotions from interfering with his ability to manage the game / roster.

That was a pretty illuminating book about Jordan and the Wizards. Not that Kwame Brown didn't have a hand in his own career demise but if anyone is wondering how he turned from a 'sure thing' into a bust read a little about Jordan's treatment of him. Jordan literally destroyed his psyche.

Statman on May 6 at 12:56

I like Doug Collins, both as a coach and as a commentator. Anyone who listens to him as a commentator (where he is one of the best around, IMO) can see that he has a keen eye for what is going on in the game. I have no doubt that he can take players who are willing to learn (Iguodala, Thad) and make them better. What I am less certain about is how, at this point in his life, he would be able to handle "dumb" plays or players (and we all know the current Sixers have a few of the latter). For example, how much would his blood pressure go up the first few times Lou dribbles into a double-team in the corner? If there is any caveat about hiring Collins, it is that the burnout potential is high.

That said, I think he would bring a new-found energy to a coaching job with the only pro team he ever played for. In any case, the passion and intelligence he would bring to the job (at least initially) would be a *huge* upgrade over DiLeo.

Three years seems to be his max shelf life. If they brought him in, he got them headed in the right direction, and he left after a couple of years I could live with that.

Sean reply to Brian on May 6 at 17:09

If you are concerned about the burnout factor, how do you feel about the possibility of using Collins to groom a young protege with potential(like Aaron McKie) to become the coach-in-waiting, sort of like what Nellie did with Avery in Dallas?

I agree with your major premise, which is that this team needs to ride its potential to become an elite defensive squad to get itself to contention. Collins can upgrade the defense, enforce discipline and develop our wings on both ends. I still think Lou can be renewed, he needs a PG drill sgt on his ass non-stop, with the head coach willing to choke his leash when needed. It is all about discipline. Tony Parker was not exactly who he is now when he came up either.

I'd be fine with Collins as a coaching tutor for a couple of seasons. The more I think about it, the more I just want someone to come in and make this team a defensive power. I think it's going to take a strong name/personality to do that. I suppose Collins could be the guy.

Any coach who has any positive NBA experience would be an upgrade over DiLeo

My problem with discussions such as these is we don't now (aside from rare cases like Thibodeau) who the 'next guys' are. We just know the retreads and the has beens and the been fired / looking for new jobs.

I really get tired of the same old guys coming in...unless maybe they won a title once or twice, collins hasn't and avery johnson teams disappointed in the playoffs and burnt out on him in about two seasons.

What unemployed coaches have won titles? Anyone think Pat Riley has had enough in Miami?

john reply to Brian on May 6 at 13:21

Pat Riley runs the show in Miami - I don't think he wants to coach again until he can get a 'pre built contender' - I think he likes building the roster but having someone else take the grief...

The more important question is 'why does it have to be someone who has been a head coach before'...if they were quality coaches who wanted to work, wouldn't they have jobs?

Possibly. Possibly not.

I just want a known quantity. I don't think this group of guys needs a learn-on-the-job head coach. They need someone who can teach them.

As noted in previous comments, I agree with you on JVG. He's a slow-down guy and I don't know how much he knows about offense, but he sure as hell knows D.

If we're talking about who might be next, I'll throw out a name I would love to see in the running: Jay Wright.

I know college coaches have a less than stellar (OK, awful) track record in making the jump to the pros. But I think this guy's different. He's detail oriented but doesn't rely on being a dictator to influence players. He communicates well. And as a coach he is smart as hell. Every year he adapts - he's not stuck on one way of doing things. He gets the most out of the talent he has. He stresses D, and seems to have a good balance between X and O knowledge and motivation. He delegates. Someday he will leave Villanova, most likely for the pros. He already has ties to the city. Why not make a run at him?

Yeah, I don't know anything about him.

As for any college coach/unproven NBA coach, I think if you're going that route, you should blow it all up. I mean, blow it to hell. Package Iggy w/ Sammy to get rid of those contract. Trade Brand to a contender for someone with a shorter contract. Pick a guy who you think will grow into an excellent NBA coach two or three years down the road and start from scratch.

I don't want to see that happen, but if we're going w/ a coach who needs three years to become competent, then I don't want him handling a roster with as much immediacy as the Sixers' has right now. And as long as Brand's contract is there, there is immediacy.

Jay Wright falls into the 'no nba coaching experience whatsoever' category does he not?

Real and Speightacular on May 6 at 15:53

Of the names mentioned so far, I like Collins the best tho Nick's warning gives me pause. Avery's definitely defensive minded (don't let that southern accent fool you) but he doesn't seem to know when/how to ease up off the gas. Burns guys out til they tune out. If money's a concern, Collins may be the best compromise. Def a significant upgrade over DiLeo.

A couple more solid pieces + good solid coach = new beast in the east.

deepsixersuede on May 6 at 19:51

I tend to look at who they played under or who they assisted, the apple doesn!t fall far from the tree. I like Avery because of the Popovich effect. M.Brown stresses defense and he was a Popovich desciple. I have been wanting Thibodeax but another non experienced name I would look at is E.Snow, only if he was hired on merit,not as a hometown guy.He is highly thought of when his name is mentioned and a definite no nonsense kind of guy. Something about Collins bothers me, I can!t give a good reason why.

Avery coached with Don Nelson - supplanted don nelson - and seriously - listen to the interview - if you still want avery - more power to you

eric snow has coaching experience?

deepsixersuede on May 6 at 21:22

Non means no experience.Being a good interview wouldn!t be my #1 reason to hire a coach.And Nelson, until recently was a pretty good coach.

I'm not saying Avery was a bad interview, I'm saying his ideas about the sixers are insane...also he takes too much credit for thigns he doesn't deserve and demonstrates an ego that would make napoleon blush

Brian: what caused you to raise a red flag on the interview? i mean brutal honesty doesnt go for much these days but i'm sure someone appreciates it.

ditto you John. what gives? nothing he said was wrong except that Lou Williams could be a starter. not everyone overvalues the talent we have. Iguodala at the 2 is a matter of opinion bcos of the unconventional style the sixers play.

I think anyone who says Lou Williams is, can be, could be, might be or should be the starting point guard for this team next year has no business coaching a CYO team.

Real and Speightacular reply to Brian on May 7 at 2:29

Well, re Lou the word he stressed repeatedly was POTENTIAL. Which is one of those words that sound like more than it really is. It expresses hope while simultaneously providing an 'out' if it all goes to hell.

I think you have to discount for the real likelyhood that he was angling for a gig. My impression was that he's pitching that he can work with Lou to turn him into something. Not sayin I'm at all much hopeful something would indeed happen, but it's not a crazy nor moronic idea. Point guards tend to take longer to develop and while it's getting late in the day for Lou, he's still young and hasn't piled up that much mileage yet (in terms of bad habits setting in irreversably). Again, he's selling himself to management here. Avery, of all the positions he coach directly, can coach up a point guard. Thing is what can you get from a swine's ear -- better not be a flu bug.

As far as I'm concerned the only issue (pre-interview) with him was weather he's learned his lesson re how to better relate to his team, that he has to be able to find different buttons. Saying Lou has "potential" is hardly a disqualifier on its own.

Real and Speightacular reply to Real and Speightacular on May 7 at 2:31

p.s. lest it be necessary to mention, my name is Real and Speightacular, I am not a Lou Williams fan, nor am I a raving Avery-as-coach fan but I am a huge fan of the idea of replacing DiLeo :P

bebopdeluxe on May 7 at 12:59

I like the idea of Collins for 2-3 years, with somebody like Eric Snow as coach-in-training...defense must be stressed, first and foremost...but beyond that, we need to find a coach who will tighten up the ship...not somebody who simply pays lip service to things like accountability and improving the defense (like DiLeo). the book on Collins is he really focuses on details...eliminating sloppiness...and there has been TONS of that to go around lately...Collins has also had success with letting guuys like Jordan and Hill almost be "point forwards"...letting them initiate the offense...and that may be the best bet for this team as well - let Iguodala be that guy, and then get a guy next to him who can focus on shooting the rock and defending the opposing PG, as opposed to being a traditional PG. We could draft Curry or trade for Hinrich (although we BLEW that one when we didn't move Miller to Chicago at the deadline), and let Collins groom Iggy as our Grant Hill (and Hill was WILDLY productive in that role under Collins).

(and Hill was WILDLY productive in that role under Collins)

Yup, he got the best out of Hill. I'm wondering if Thad has some things in common w/ a young Grant Hill.

bebopdeluxe on May 7 at 13:19

The reson I did the Iggy/Hill comparison is that both guys saw the whole floor...both guys emphasized defense (something that Thad better work on this summer...although I'm not sure if it wasn't as much a crappy approach to D by the Sixers coaching staff as it was Thad needing to get better there)...both guys seem to be as satisfied by making a great pass as making a good dive to the hole...the reality is, unless we are moving somebody, we have to mold this team around Iguodala, Thad and Brand all being on the floor at the same time...Miller is simply a HORRIFIC fit around those guys...I would have loved to use Miller's expiring to get Hinrich (not the best traditional PG, but a guy who can defend and shoot the rock), but we need a guy next to Iggy who can shoot and defend...and we can use Iggy in the same way that the Bulls used Jordan when he was next to Hodges/Paxson/Kerr...none of those guys were traditional PG's, but they could all shoot the rock - which opened the perimeter for Jordan and Pippen. A great shooting guy next to Iggy could do the same thing for Iggy and Thad....Collins has coached that system, and - given our personnel - that might be the best system that we could employ right now.

agreed on all points.

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