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Friday, May 21, 2010

Liking the Hiring of Doug Collins

Despite a surprising lack of enthusiasm over today’s hiring of Doug Collins as the Seventy-Sixers head coach from the jaded media, I’m enthused. Collins was the main “name” guy available, which certainly doesn’t guarantee success but I don’t think anybody in Philadelphia wanted Ed Stefanski coming up with a guy.

Collins’ credibility is bolstered for me by the fact that he’s essentially had his pick of jobs for the last several years. Somebody, in fact several somebodies, in the National Basketball Association thinks Collins can coach. Michael Jordan, everybody’s basketball god, essentially brought Collins to Washington when he returned to the NBA in Washington. In fact, Collins essentially did the dirty work of building Jordan’s Chicago Bulls into the dynasty they became under the overrated Phil Jackson.

I also like the fact that Comcast, which owns the Sixers under the direction of Ed Snider, signed Collins. This is the first sign in a while that the basketball team isn’t just a tenant in the hockey-loving Snider’s building. After hiring on the cheap for several years, the Sixers no doubt bucked up for Collins.

I don’t want to overstate this aspect, but the fact is that Collins is (through the Western Conference Finals) the best NBA analyst on television right now (aside from possibly Jack Ramsey). He seems to really get what’s going on, which is a lot more than can be said of other analysts – and candidates for the job. When the guy speaks, he makes sense. It’s actually possible to learn from the guy as a viewer.

I don’t know if that translates to coaching, but it doesn’t seem like a stretch. Sure, so-called experts will blow it off as trivial because the everyday fan can judge it for themselves without their “inside” knowledge, but ask “why” and you won’t get much response.

Besides . . . does Mark Jackson excite anyone? Avery Johnson? Jeff Van Gundy?

They even interviewed the WNBA’s Bill Laimbeer for the job. Were they kidding?

The best part about this move may be that it apparently was not made by Stefanski, but, instead, Snider consultant Gene Shue. Any sign that Stefanski’s role is being reduced is a good one.

Certainly, it’s going to take more than Collins to turn this franchise around. But, coupled with the Sixers moving up to the second slot in June’s draft for the apparent right to draft Evan Turner, hiring Collins is finally a step in the right direction.

Week-in-Review:

• For the second time this week Stephen A. Smith questioned why Doug Collins would want the Sixers job. I'm sick of this nit witted, New York wannabe. If the Inquirer was still relevant, it would be a disgrace that he was still employed. Everyone else has fired his ass. I repeat, he’s a punk and nothing else. I think he only writes about two columns a week. The bum can’t come up with two ideas? I know the Sixers stink, but that's pretty much the type of team that hires new coaches. Why isn’t anybody ripping this guy???

• Maybe now they can kick Governor Rendell off Post-Game Live. Our beloved “guv” was recently quoted by POLITICO.com: “‘I’m going to still root for the Eagles, but I’m going to root for the Redskins in the playoffs, because they’re going to be in it, and we’re not,’ Rendell said last week when asked . . . for his thoughts on the Eagles’ trade last month of quarterback Donovan McNabb to the Redskins. ‘It’s be careful what you wish for,’ said Rendell. . . . ‘I’ll tell you this, Donovan’s going to be great for the Redskins,’ Rendell told POLITICO. He even urged the Redskins to heed McNabb’s call to sign his former Eagles teammate Terrell Owens. . . . ‘T.O. in Washington would be rejuvenated. . . . He and Donovan, actually, they were terrific together as a team. They just had that spat off the field, but there wasn’t a game Owens played for us that he and Donovan weren’t terrific.’” Trying to get to Washington some way, huh, Ed?

• Get ready for another summer of Brett Favre wanting ESPN’s undivided attention, and getting it. Brett Favre told Southern Mississippi’s baseball team that if they made the College Baseball World Series. Can you say, “Starved for attention?”

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