Sixers Hit Rock Bottom, Collins Rants

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — It’s been a pretty miserable season for the Philadelphia 76ers.

Because they’re in the Eastern Conference, the Sixers were just four games out of a playoff spot when they took the floor against the Orlando Magic. But not once in the last 3 1/2 months have they ever resembled anything close to a playoff team. And not once has Andrew Bynum been close to actually playing in a game.

Well, things clearly hit rock bottom for Philly on Tuesday night when they lost by 14 points at home to the Orlando Magic, a team that was 3-28 (1-14 on the road) since Dec. 21, had traded one of its best players five days ago, and was looking like it would hold the No. 30 spot in our Power Rankings for the rest of the season.

The embarrassing loss, the Sixers’ sixth straight, was apparently the breaking point for Sixers coach Doug Collins, who had some interesting things to say in his post-game press conference. Collins basically avoided all blame for his team’s struggles and mostly threw his players under the bus.

And he came out firing right away. First, he called the game “mind-numbing.” Then, he used a Pat Summit story to say that a coach can’t control energy and effort, and gave the reporters in the room a look that said, “See what I’m saying here?”

Collins also brought up his own effort as a Sixers player for comparison.

“I gave my body to this franchise,” he said. “I was never booed as a player. Never. I ran through my sneakers.”

There were references to the fact that Bynum hasn’t played a single minute this season…

“The team that we tried to put together we’ve never seen. And so I think, when you take a huge piece away from it, your warts show.”

And there were more obvious criticisms of his players…

“I did not think our guys prepared themselves during the [All-Star] break to come back to play.”

More of the I’m-doing-everything-I-can talk….

“If everybody looked inside themselves as much as I did, this world would be a CAT scan. OK? Believe me, there’s not two days go by that I don’t go to Rod [Thorn], I don’t go to Tony [DiLeo], ‘What can I do? Can I do anything different? How can I be a better coach? How can I be a better leader? How can I help these guys?’

“Sometimes, you’ve got to help yourself, you know? Sometimes you’ve got to help yourself. Youth is a very blaming thing.”

“My job is to not put that kind of product on the floor. I’m incredibly hard on myself. I love it when the fans start yelling at me. I’m not playing. You didn’t yell at me when I played. Why are you yelling at me when I’m coaching?”

Want another way to say that the coach can’t control energy and effort? Here you go…

“They say it’s a players’ league. Well, then take ownership. Take ownership. That’s all I’m asking. Take ownership of what you’re putting out there. To me, I’m a day’s work for a day’s pay kind of guy. That’s all I’ve been ever taught.”

I did my job, but they’re not doing theirs…

“There’s nothing wrong with our preparation. I looked out there to start the game, three guys weren’t even sweating when we started the game! They were going to ease themselves into the game. You’ve got to get sweaty. You’ve got to be ready to go.”

Spencer, I coached Nik Vucevic. I knew Nik Vucevic. Nik Vucevic was a player of mine. Spencer, you’re no Nik Vucevic…

“We made a huge deal. And we have nobody playing as part of that deal. How many teams can give up Andre Iguodala, Moe Harkless and Nik Vucevic, and have nothing in return playing? That’s tough to overcome, right? That’s just the facts. I’m not looking for any out. But that’s the facts. Nik Vucevic had 19 rebounds tonight. Spencer had one. I think Lavoy [Allen] had two.”

Finally, about 10 minutes into the press conference, Collins falls on his sword … sort of …

“I don’t want you to feel like I’m up here blaming. I don’t want you to think I’m making excuses. That’s not what this is about. I’m not a blamer. I’m not an excuse kind of guy. No one takes this harder than I do. Nobody. I’m a guy, who, when I have coached, I’ve always been able to find some answers. And I have not been able to find answers. And from my standpoint, that is very disappointing, because I’m paid to do that.”

The Sixers next play on Thursday, when they visit the Bulls (who also suffered a pretty embarrassing loss on Tuesday) at 8 p.m. on TNT. Should be interesting.


John Schuhmann is a staff writer for Send him an e-mail or follow him on twitter.


  1. darko says:

    Run, Doug, Run! See Jrue run. Jrue and Even run the break! The Young boys fill the lanes. Run, Doug, run!

  2. lol says:

    this guy and his article…. its either he uses to much numbers to bore you out, or hes jus been stupidly bias…. i have a lot of respect for doug collins, he is responsible for putting that great bulls team together before jackson came in…. he knows how to work with young talent…. philly made a stupid deal, jason richardson and bynum are not even playin

  3. Kamote says:

    Let Bynum walk (or limp) away. Please, he is not the future of your franchise.

  4. JSweet says:

    Great to see the fans recognize not only a poorly written bias article but also that Doug Collins is dead right.
    Have you seen the 76ers play this year?! The complete lack of effort and energy this year has been a major disappointment.

  5. Heat says:

    Jrue Holiday has been single handedly carrying the sixers this year

  6. Lockhart says:

    The thing about reporters that really pisses me off is, when they write articles like they have coached or played the game of basketball. See on one hand, people say athletes are spoiled, but when a coach comes out and achknowledges that point he gets blame for abanding his team or he shouldn’t throw his players under the bus. I have no problem with what collins is saying, he is telling the truth. He shouldn’t have to coach effort!!!! Its obvious the man is tired and frustrated with the fact they traded away they best players for nothing (how they didn’t know bynum knee was in that bad of a shape, is something that puzzles the hell out of me) and then the guys that are left is not giving it their all. He has every right to say what he wants.

  7. Iggy Fan says:

    Happy for Iggy that he avoided this trainwreck

    • steagle says:

      Haha yeah, though had that trade not gone down, I doubt Philly would be in this predicament today. They were almost always a solid, reliable team with him in the starting 5, and with Jrue Holiday’s emergence as an elite point guard this season, they could have been more dynamic duo than in years past. Still, kudos to Iggy, he’s put in a lot of hard work over the years and it’s nice to see him on a team that’s doing well, especially in the competitive western conference.

  8. zz says:

    i can understand doug in this one. what coaches want is for the guys to be giving all they have in the game. and if you look at them last season, you can see they are a hard working team that earned themselves a playoffs spot. i don’t know why they got lazy, maybe they got infected by bynum who is chilling in the best all season

  9. good job standing up for yourself collins…that’s what a great coach should do…I hope this fires up his players to prove their coach wrong

  10. Roi says:

    Is Colins not the coach that failed to bring a championship in the Bulls with MJ ? just asking

    • Kamote says:

      it has been a process… PJax was great, by Collins got it together.

      all the 76ers need right now is to be that competitive team that can at least be a staple at the playoffs… championship, might need a new coach LOL.

  11. me says:

    7ers are the biggest joke in the NBA.

  12. MB says:

    I agree with him. The Sixers, like lots of teams, play too cool! If more teams balled hard like San Antonio, Chicago, Indiana, Memphis, etc EVERY GAME, this league would be a lot better!

    The Iggy trade was obviously a mistake (see Denver’s record). NV is putting up big numbers on a terrible team in Orlando so take that with a grain of salt. Bynum….damn big Bynum!! I live in So. Cal, love the Lakers, never liked Drew. He is another one of those “too cool” kinda play at half effort guys. He showed up in those 2 title runs for LA, but I don’t think he will ever reach his expectations.

    Coach Collins came up in the old school where players left it all on the floor. He coached MJ!! How must it feel to coach this team everyday, then see the effort they put out in the games? Maybe the Lakers will hire him next season…

  13. Arky says:

    That’s kind of a plea to be fired, isn’t it? He’s basically giving up on the team (not without reason, they’re not making the playoffs… on the plus side, the top-12 protection on that draft pick they traded to Miami is almost certain to come in handy, they have every incentive not to make a late burst and barely miss the playoffs….

  14. Nottoobad says:

    Also Nik V, That kid has heart and enjoys the game, loves to hustle and go for the win. That’s a great character both fans and owners can enjoy!

  15. Nottoobad says:

    It must be hard for a professional like Doug to deal with apathetic behavior. I understand it is a business, more so then it is a sport. Not even hard to fathom that a young athlete, already making good money, would just go through the motions and even go against putting in extra effort. Especially on the east, I feel many players lack heart when they feel their team has no chance at all. Also hurts when your top paid athlete ( by 3 x ) rather not even play this year, and does not care to injure his knees, he has enough cash to retire or fake interest in playing.

    • RJ says:

      Bynum needs to sit and recover fully. Otherwise, there’s an increased likelyhood his knees go out again soon.

  16. r says:

    coach distancing himself from the team isn’t good.

    “why are the fans yelling at me? you never yelled at me when i was playing, why yell at me when i’m coaching” – basically saying he’s not a part of the team. that he has nothing to do with their poor performance. no wonder sixers are doing poorly. their leader has already clocked out.

    • RJ says:

      He hasn’t clocked out. He just doesn’t want to be booed for their lack of effort. He’s had them playing better than their talent the last two years. These guys gotta believe in themselves again.

  17. Duv says:

    Doug was a great commentator. It’d be nice to see him in that type of role again

  18. The Real Moby says:

    All that hussle and “putting your body on the line” was what Iguodala brought. Terrible trade.

  19. The Real Moby says:

    Come on Doug, it’s a team effort and you’re part of the TEAM!!! Never should have made that trade for Bynum, it was never going to end well. Let’s go Philly for the 2013/14 season.

  20. Batch says:

    He’s right!

  21. Eli Odell J. says:

    man speaks the truth, his team even without that knucklehead oughta be better’n it is, they really aint tryin hard enough, aint workin hard enough
    if i dont work hard enough for 5 months i get the axe why should these dandy boy millionaires get better?

  22. me says:

    shut up and stop trying to make collins look bad.. it is these lazy azz players fault. they cant execute they dont talk..its a playeres league.

  23. matt says:

    poor doug i really feel for the man

  24. glyceman says:

    i can relate to doug. they let good players, solid ones in iguodala and a revelation in vucevic in exchange for virtually nothing. bynum’s trade was a bust. or at least this season

    • 7little says:

      hopefully that thought GMs a lesson about future deals with the fakers, but doubt it.

    • steagle says:

      The Bynum trade (or more accurately the Howard trade) will go down as one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history. Philly gets a player with chronic knee problems, a bad temper and immature personality, and LA gets the league’s best center hands down. This will never be a good thing for Philly. Bynum may have one solid season and everyone will get their hopes up, then he’ll get injured again. I guarantee it. It’s going to happen with Greg Oden again too. Teams need to stop making gambles for risky big men and focus on training their healthy bigs over the long term. There are a lot of talented big men in the league that get very little credit for their solid play: Tiago Splitter, Spencer Hawes, Nic Vucevic, Marcin Gortat, Chris Wilcox, Enes Kanter all spring to mind. None of these guys have had repeated injury problems and they are all producing for their team. While Howard and Bynum may be the most dominant at the position when they’re healthy, consistency is far more important than spurts of greatness.

  25. Kiwi says:

    Thank you coach. Too often coaches get blamed for their players shortcomings. If it were an execution problem, then sure, the coach needs to front up. But indifference is not the sign of a championship bound franchise. As Jordan’s book is titled ‘I can’t accept not trying.’ Philly won’t do anything significant as long as the culture of indifference continues.