DOUG COLLINS QUESTIONS SIXERS' EFFORT, "NOT ABLE TO FIND ANSWERS"
During the 12-minute press conference, Collins talked about heart. He talked about – maybe through a pair of revisionist historian's glasses – how he never got booed as a player. He talked about how he ran through his sneakers and gave it his all as a player. He talked about how three of the Sixers' starters, though he didn't name names, weren't sweaty as the game began, hoping to ease into their meeting with the NBA's second-worst team.
“I'm not a blamer. I'm not an excuse kind of guy. Nobody takes this harder than I do. Nobody,” Collins said. “I'm a guy who, when I have coached, I've always been able to find answers. And I have not been able to find the answers, and from my standpoint, that's very disappointing because I'm paid to do that.
“I want you to know in no way am I casting dispersions that this is someone else's fault. We're all in this together. But there can't be a game where you go out and don't put your heart and soul into the game. Can't do it. No reason for that. None.”
Collins is at wit's end.
He's tried to assemble the puzzle pieces at his disposal, tried to tinker some with waiver-wire pickups, tried to make a winner of a team that is without the two pieces the Sixers got in return for Andre Iguodala, Moe Harkless and Nik Vucevic.
It was almost poetic that Andrew Bynum wasn't on the Sixers' bench Tuesday night (though a team spokesperson said he was in the building). Bynum was absent. So was the Sixers' effort.
Spencer Hawes, a 7-1 center, had one rebound in 21 minutes. Lavoy Allen, a 6-9 forward, had four boards in 18 minutes. Nick Young, basically invisible, made all but five of his six shots. Thaddeus Young, who showed so much Sunday in his first game back, “lacked pop” against the Magic, Collins said.
“They say it's a players' league. Well, take ownership,” Collins said.
It was an underachieving kind of game for the Sixers (22-33), a team that couldn't afford one. They're buried in the Eastern Conference, 11 games under .500, riding a season-worst six-game losing streak. Collins said he wasn't sure whether the Sixers knew about
“My job is not to put that product on the floor,” Collins said. “I'm incredibly hard on myself. I love it when the fans yell at me. I'm not playing. You didn't yell at me when I played. Why are you yelling at me when I'm coaching?”
Because his team played with little care Tuesday night. Collins knew it, and so did those fans.