Doug Collins has earned the right to stick around in Philadelphia — he has instilled a defensive mindset and toughness in the team that made them respectable. It helped them get past Chicago in the first round of the playoffs last year (that and the Derrick Rose injury). Now he is going to have a couple of seasons to show what he can do with a real center in the middle and his young pieces maturing around him.
The Sixers picked up the 2013-14 team option on Collins contract Monday, the team announced.
“Doug Collins has repeatedly proven that he is one of the best head coaches in the NBA and we consider ourselves very fortunate to have him here in Philadelphia,” said Sixers Managing Owner Josh Harris. “We look forward to Doug’s continued leadership, passion and dedication to this organization and our fans, and know that he will work tirelessly in order to put our team in the best position to succeed every time they step on the court.”
Collins now has a roster with big man Andrew Bynum in the paint — and Collins old-school ways could be the kind of push Bynum needs. Phil Jackson was always a “let them figure it out for themselves” kind of coach, which works well with veteran teams. Bynum might thrive with more direct instruction. Plus there is real talent like Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner.
Collins has helped change the fortunes of this team around, he deserved to have his extension. Now we will see what he can do with a more talented team.
Shaquille O’Neal told Justin Tasch of New York Post: “I’m not doing well. I’m sick” about the death of his former teammate Kobe Bryant (along with eight others, including his daughter Gianna).
A lot of people can relate to that, but Shaq pulled it together enough to talk about his former championship teammate.
When it came to what he could no longer tell Kobe, Shaq teared up.
Shaq and Kobe had legendary feuds back in the day, but in later years made up and were friends.
Like many people, Shaq is still trying to process all of it. That’s going to take a long time.
Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant were tight.
The shocking death of Kobe Bryant — along with his daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash — hit CP3 hard and the point guard missed his first game of the year Monday, sitting out as he tried to come to grips with it all. Kobe and Paul won Gold Medals together, their kids were friends, and they competed fiercely against each other on the court.
Tuesday night, Paul posted this personal tribute to Kobe.
Like Paul, a lot of us are struggling to process it all.
Jerry West has never understood why people thought he was brilliant for recognizing the talent of a 17-year-old Kobe Bryant coming out of high school. To him it was obvious.
If it had been obvious (and if that era had not frowned on the development that came with drafting high school players), Kobe wouldn’t have been a Laker, and NBA history might be very different.
For West, Kobe was not just another player, he was like a son. West talked about it on the well done TNT special commemorating Kobe Tuesday night.
What those neatly packaged TNT clip does not show is just how difficult and emotional it was for West to talk about Kobe.
West has had a life of incredible highs, but also more lows and pain than many — abused by his father and battling depression his entire life — and this is another emotional tax on the NBA legend.
When you saw the image of Joel Embiid‘s dislocated ring finger facing a direction no finger should face, you knew he was going to miss some time (even though he had it taped up and returned to that game). Embiid had surgery to repair a torn radial collateral ligament on the ring finger of his left hand. Ultimately he missed nine games while he recovered.
Tuesday night against the Warriors, Embiid will be back.
He will have a soft wrap on his left hand that has been cleared by the league.
Philadelphia went 6-3 while Embiid was out.
Ben Simmons stepped up — in his last five games (before Tuesday) he averaged 24 points a game on 70.6 percent shooting, plus 10 rebounds and 8.6 assists a game. Without Embiid in the paint or taking up touches, Simmons took over the offense and looked much more comfortable in his role.
However, the Sixers’ offensive rating in those nine Embiid-less games was 104.9, 29th in the NBA (even in the last five it was 103.2, still 29th in the league). Simmons may have been playing better but the offense was not.
When Simmons and Embiid share the court this season, their offensive rating is 106.7 — not great, but better than without Embiid playing.