It's official: Doug Collins is stepping down as 76ers head coach
Collins told the 76ers' ownership group Sunday night that he will not return to coach the team for a fourth season, according to a league source who confirmed a Yahoo! Sports report.
It's believed that Collins and the Sixers are working toward an amicable arrangement regarding the final year of the coach's contract. The Sixers' ownership group would prefer that Collins, who is owed somewhere in the vicinity of $4.5 million, stay on board in some capacity with the franchise for which he also played.
The future for Collins had been under fire for the last week, after a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer made it sound as though ownership would prefer if Collins stepped down. Collins had refused to comment on it, saying he would speak to Sixers owner Josh Harris at the conclusion of the regular season, April 17 at Indianapolis, before making any decisions.
Guess that's an unnecessary conversation at this stage.
After the Sixers' 91-77 victory Sunday over Cleveland, John Langel – Collins' agent – told reporters that the coach will be “here for another year.” What a difference a few hours make, with Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski first reporting that Collins' days in Philadelphia are numbered following this season.
Collins has guided the Sixers to a 33-47 record, with his team failing to meet the lofty expectations laid out before them after acquiring All-Star center Andrew Bynum in an Aug. 10 trade. Bynum never played, missing the entire season with balky knees, and the Sixers spiraled.
The Sixers have gone 108-119 under Collins.
Collins, 61, has never coached beyond three seasons in any of his previous NBA stops: Chicago, Detroit and Washington.
If the Sixers aren't in Collins' future, he has a couple options.
His son, Chris, was hired away from Duke last month to become the new head coach at Northwestern. Doug Collins' roots are in Illinois, which could present an alluring opportunity. Collins also could return to his broadcasting career, something he did between head coaching stints.
Collins' departure also means that members of his coaching staff could be headed out the door.
Michael Curry, the Sixers' associate head coach, is head coach material and was a top candidate for the vacancy in Orlando last offseason. Brian James, Collins' top assistant coach, is expected to join Northwestern's staff with Chris Collins, who played for James in high school. The others are good guys who likely will be without jobs – Aaron McKie, Jeff Capel and Monte Shubik.
Visit Christopher A. Vito's Sixers blog at delcotimes.com for more coverage.