When the Sixers hired Doug Collins in May of 2010, critics warned of “Collins burnout” after a couple years of positive steps. Nearly three years after the hire, 76ers players are reportedly frustrated with his coaching style and the front office is hoping the 61-year-old coach steps down on his own after this season.
Multiple league sources told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the organization privately wants Collins to quit despite the coach having one year remaining on his contract. He is owed $4.5 million.
“I’m entirely focused on trying to win the games we have left,” Collins said this week. “I’m not thinking at all about next season. I haven’t gone there.”
Collins’ coaching career has had a familiar feel at three of his four NBA stops. He peaked in his second year with the Bulls in 1988 as Chicago went 50-32. The next year they went 47-35. In Detroit, he guided the Pistons to 54 wins in Year 2. The next season (1997-98), he was out after 45 games as Detroit had a 21-24 record.
In Philly, Collins got 35 wins out of the Sixers in a shortened season and the team nearly upset the Celtics in the second round of the 2012 playoffs. As of Thursday, the Sixers were 31-47 on the 2013 season.
Things seemed to have hit rock bottom for Collins and the Sixers in late February in a loss to the Magic as Collins publically questioned the effort given by his players.
“I did not think our guys prepared themselves during the (All-Star) break to come back to play,” Collins said that night. “I looked out there to start the game and three guys weren’t even sweating when we started the game. They’re going to ease themselves into the game. You’ve gotta get sweaty, you’ve gotta get ready to go.”
Philly wraps up its season April 17 at Indiana.