How Doug Collins and Andrew Bynum Can Co-Exist on the Philadelphia 76ers

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 6, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 23: Head coach Doug Collins of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts during the game against the Boston Celtics in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center on May 23, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
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The Philadelphia 76ers acquisition of All-Star center Andrew Bynum has been praised far and wide, but there are still lingering concerns over the big man's character.

While Bynum's game has evolved over the past few seasons, many still question his maturity. A few incidents have tarnished Bynum's reputation, and many fear he's one of the next great NBA centers who's destined to think more highly of himself than of his team.

Now that he's situated in Philadelphia, where it appears he has a shot to be the centerpiece of the franchise for years to come, it's time for Bynum to grow up and be the superstar he's always wanted to be.

By and large, public opinion has stated that Bynum will struggle to co-exist with his new head coach Doug Collins, but there should be plenty of ways for the two to conceive an amicable relationship.

The most obvious way for Collins and Bynum to succeed together is by winning. It's really that simple. A big fear at this point should be the Sixers ability to get off to a hot start, which may be difficult given all of the new pieces that have just recently landed in Philadelphia.

Surely, an early season losing streak would dampen spirits, but as we know, championships aren't won in November and December. While it shouldn't take the Sixers two full months to begin to mesh, there are always growing pains with made-over rosters (see: 2010-2011 Miami Heat).

While winning figures to be a strong barometer of Bynum's happiness, his evolution as one of the game's biggest superstars should be another key factor.

Collins will certainly tailor the offensive game plan around his newest weapon, but there will be a transition period necessary to acclimate Bynum with a new scheme.

However, with a bright, young point guard in Jrue Holiday and unselfish players like Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young, there should be looks aplenty for Bynum from the get-go.

While Bynum competed with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol for touches in Los Angeles, he should have no such problem in Philadelphia. Far and away the team's most viable player on both the offensive and defensive end, Bynum has an opportunity to be one of the most statistically dominant big men in the game.

As a result of Bynum's frustration last season, he took his now infamous, ill-advised three-point shot against the Golden State Warriors, one for which he was benched. He also famously shoved former Dallas Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea in a demonstration of his frustration when the Lakers abruptly exited the playoffs.

Collins is known to be a bit nit-picky at times, so it will be interesting to see how he reacts if Bynum tries to assert his dominance over the course of the season.

For the past few seasons, Collins has treated his team like a family, and for the Sixers to succeed, they will need Bynum, along with several other new faces, to embrace Collins' somewhat different approach to the game.

It may not be easy at first, but if Bynum enters this new situation with an open mind, the Sixers could be in for a run of extended success.