Charles Barkley has been making sure his opinion has been heard loud and clear across the world of sports over the past week. His comments have ranged from the criticism of Bears’ QB Jay Cutler all the way to our very own 76ers.
Barkley was quoted as saying “Why is Doug Collins trying to win games? That’s stupid. They should develop the young guys and try to get a better draft pick.”
Barkley then went out on a ledge even further with his next set of comments; “Doug’s a great coach. Don’t get me wrong. But sometimes coaches get carried away with their own egos. But in a situation like this, it’s not about them.”
Maybe I’m just being naive here but I really don’t see any basis for these comments whatsoever. I’m left shaking my head for a couple of reasons.
1. Which “young guys” are not being developed at this time because of the rotation or in-game strategy of Doug Collins? Craig Brackins? Let’s get real here. Jrue Holiday is an integral part of this team, Meeks is now starting, Thaddeus Young now plays a critical role off the bench, and Marreese Speights has seen his minutes increase with improved play. Who is being left out here?
2. How can you accuse Doug Collins of letting his ego get in the way when he is attempting to do the job he was hired to do. That is to win basketball games. This could have held some water when the Sixers began the season with a horrendous 3-13 run but they now sit comfortably in the 7th seed at 20-25 after defeating the Toronto Raptors on the road Wednesday night.
The fact of that matter is, this team is not good enough to actually be a threat in the playoffs but they also certainly aren’t bad enough to get into a lottery type situation right now with this current roster. Doug Collins has done a tremendous job this season with this current Sixers team and I can hardly fault him for showing up for work everyday and doing the best he can. Can you imagine being an NBA head coach and willingly not doing everything in your power to win basketball games night in and night out? It’s just absurd.
My only beef with Collins is what seemingly is his quote of the year, in which he designates a particular player that was critical to the Sixers success as the “Ace of Spades”. After Wednesday night’s win over Toronto that saw Speights go 10 of 12 from the field for a season high 23, Collins stated “Mo Speights was our Ace of Speights”. Very clever, Doug.