The post-mortem dissection of the 2012-13 Philadelphia 76ers began on Thursday as Doug Collins resigned from his position as head coach. The 61-year-old coach had one year remaining on a four-year contract with the Sixers, but team owner Josh Harris announced that Collins made the decision to leave on his own and that he was not forced out by management.
The rumors of Collins' departure started to swell last week, and despite an initial string of denials he admitted on that he had been planning to leave the bench for several months. Derek Bodner of SB Nation's 76ers blog, Liberty Ballers, has more from Collins on his decision:
When asked when he said he came to this decision, Doug Collins said "about Christmas".#sixers— Derek Bodner (@derekbodner) April 18, 2013
Doug Collins says #Sixers will be his last coaching job.— Derek Bodner (@derekbodner) April 18, 2013
Doug Collins did not tell the players he was considering leaving.— Derek Bodner (@derekbodner) April 18, 2013
Doug Collinsbordering on tears when asked about leaving young players."They'll have my DNA" #sixers— Derek Bodner (@derekbodner) April 18, 2013
Collins will stay on with the team as an advisor. He said he hopes to help general manager Tony DiLeo with talent evaluation. DiLeo will still have the authority to make all personnel moves.
Philadelphia suffered through a difficult season marked by the perpetual absence of Andrew Bynum, but Collins insisted that he would have stepped back from coaching even if the team had a winning record and Bynum was healthy:
Collins says he would have resigned after this season even if the Sixers had a winning record or if Bynum had been healthy.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) April 18, 2013
Collins says he went to DiLeo and Rod Thorn two months ago to figure out an exit strategy, "because I wanted to leave w/dignity."— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) April 18, 2013
Collins amassed a 442-407 record (.521 winning percentage) as an NBA head coach over 11 seasons. He reached the NBA Playoffs twice during his three seasons in Philadelphia, including a surprise trip to the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2011-12.