Doug Collins is first call in Philadelphia coach search

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Former NBA coach and current TNT broadcaster Doug Collins has gotten the first call about becoming head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers.

That’s according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, who said nobody else has yet been contacted by team president and general manager Ed Stefanski. However, you can bet that Collins will not be the only name to get called.

Collins coached eight NBA seasons. Most famously, he was Michael Jordan’s coach in Chicago, right up until he was replaced by some guy named Phil Jackson. Collins also had a 54-win season in Detroit and coached in Washington for two years.

The only way more rumors could have swirled around this job search is if Lindsey Lohan were a candidate.

Larry Brown’s name keeps coming up, both as coach and as team president replacing Stefanski. It’s just part of the fun of this search — Stefanski may not be long for his job, but he’s being allowed to conduct the search. So that if he is replaced the new GM can have to live with Stefanski’s decision. Brilliant.

Other names that come up include Dallas assistant Dwane Casey, (who was interviewed twice and came in second to the hiring of Eddie Jordan by Stefanski last year), Avery Johnson and Jeff Van Gundy.

James Harden: “I am the best player in the league. I believe that.”

James Harden, Stephen Curry
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James Harden was the MVP last season — if you ask his fellow NBA players.

The traditional award (based on a media vote) went to Stephen Curry (in the closest vote in four years), and that was the right call (in my mind). But from the time it happened Harden did not buy it. And he still doesn’t buy it. In the least — and he’s using that as fuel for this season. That’s what he told Fran Blinebury over at

“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” he said. “I thought I was last year, too.”

Well, it’s a more realistic claim than Paul George’s.

“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.

I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?

It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.