Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doug Collins has had enough of watching his team come out flat to begin games and couldn't explain to reporters Tuesday after yet another loss why they've done so on a consistent basis.
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"You know what, man, I wish I knew. I wish I knew," Collins lamented. "I really do. I gotta tell you, I'm sitting there. I gave my body to this franchise. I was never booed as a player. Never. I ran through my sneakers."
As a player, Collins spent his entire eight-year career with the Sixers after being their No. 1 overall pick in the 1973 NBA Draft.
Collins spent 10 minutes, longer than a usual post-game session with the media, spelling out everything from his team's energy level to whether or not he thought Philadelphia's offseason moves have helped or hurt the team. Andrew Bynum continues to sit on the sidelines while the Sixers are fighting to remain in the hunt for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They are currently five games behind Milwaukee Bucks.
Injuries have taken a toll on everyone involved with the franchise, and Collins was admittedly bothered by the fact that the Sixers have yet to showcase the team they envisioned putting together in the offseason.
"We made a huge deal and we have nobody playing as part of that deal, Collins added. "How many teams can give up Andre Iguodala, (Moe Harkless) and (Nikola Vucevic) and have nothing in return playing? That's tough to overcome. That's just the facts. I'm not looking for an out. Nik Vucevic had 19 rebounds tonight. Spencer Hawes had one."
The deal in question sent Bynum to Philadelphia in a four-team transaction that netted them the former Lakers' All-Star in exchange for a future first-round draft pick, but cost them Iguodala, Harkless and Vucevic in return.
Bynum has yet to play this season as he continues to recover from chronic ailments in both of his troubled knees. Collins, will have to move on with or without him.
"Does he sit out there all the time? I don't know," said Collins. "I don't even know. A lot of times he sits back there and gets treatment... It's been hard. I think there's a part of this group wondering are you gonna play, aren't you gonna play? You know, it's been a tough year."
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