Doug Collins' resignation didn't exactly come out of the blue, but it's still something that the Philadelphia 76ers can be happy about.
Collins was only with the Sixers for three seasons, yet it felt as if he slightly overstayed his welcome. That's said with as much respect as possible because he truly did a lot of positive things for the franchise, he just fell short in certain areas and it took off from there.
The "snowball effect" is a popular term in the sporting world and it fits perfectly with this situation. Losses started leading to poor rotations which led to passive and uninspired play. It all built up and up until it was big enough for even Collins to see.
And more importantly, too big for him to avoid.
This is sad for Collins, but certainly not a bad thing for the Sixers.
Let's take a look at why Philadelphia should be happy about his resignation.
First and foremost, Doug Collins is a disciplinarian. Like all coaches, he strives to get the most out of his players, but he goes about it by being stern and hard on them.
To be blunt, the NBA isn't the place for this style.
Sure, you'll get certain coaches that thrive on being able to command their men. Doc Rivers doesn't take a break from yelling and uses it as both positive and negative reinforcement. But he's part of the minority in this situation.
So why does it work for him and not Collins?
The answer is quite simple. This is the National Basketball Association and these players are getting paid to play. They don't want to consistently hear about how they are struggling in certain aspects of the game and that they need to step it up.
All of them left that part of the game at the collegiate level.
Nobody wants to hear that these multi-million dollar athletes need special treatment in how they are handled, but look at it in your own life. Regardless of your profession, would you want another grown adult consistently telling and often times yelling at you about how you can improve at your job? Chances are strong that the answer to that question is no. For those that already experience it, are you starting to see why an NBA player wouldn't be open to it?
Now, by no means should coaches coddle and baby a player, but they need to connect to them in a way that is completely unrelated to basketball.
That's the only way to get their trust and be able to have an impact in those moments where yelling is absolutely necessary.
Collins has never understood this part of the sidelines.
He's been the head coach of four separate NBA teams and hasn't lasted more than three years at any of them. This isn't because he's not a good coach and because he doesn't understand the game. It's because his coaching style is more suited for college-level basketball instead of the pro game.
SB Nation quoted Collins saying:
The one thing about players today is that they're very sensitive, and very fragile. They didn't grow up with tough coaches. You know, I had my ass kicked since I was six. It's a different time, and so I treat this team very much with kid gloves. I really do, and I'm still looked at as an ogre.
It's terrible, I mean, it's hard. It really is hard. I honestly find myself during the games looking at the coach [and asking], 'Was I alright with those guys during that timeout? Did I hurt anybody's feelings? Was I OK?'... 'Coach, you're fine, you're fine'... I said 'OK, OK, I just wanted to make sure I didn't hurt anybody's feelings.' That's the sensitivity, and the younger the guys, it seems like the more sensitive. And that's what you're wrestling with.
The crazy part about that quote is that it took place on April 9, 2012. That's significant because Philly was just about to go on a big postseason run that saw them nearly getting to the Eastern Conference finals.
It illustrates everything perfectly. Collins' coaching style works, but it doesn't work for long.
Sooner rather than later, players and fans get sick of it and feel like it's time to move on. Resigning means that neither will have to deal with it any longer.
There is a silver lining in having such a terrible season, and it's that it can only get so bad. There has to be better and brighter things ahead.
Collins was respected during his tenure as Sixers coach and seemed as though he did the best he could do. He deserves all the credit in the world for that.
Still though, it wasn't quite enough and he ended up resigning because of it.
This is where Philly's silver lining comes into play. One of the better and brighter things is being able to move past Collins' situation and look forward to the future and all it can bring.
There is no telling who will be the Sixers new head coach, or what kind of coach he'll be. For all we know he'll be the same kind of disciplinarian. (Which would suck a little.) But even if he is, the future still brings hope and that's more than enough for right now.
Collins didn't always win games, but he did a fine job in Philadelphia. His resignation means it's time to move forward and think positively about what is to come.
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