In an interview Monday with Comcast SportsNet, Sixers CEO Adam Aron addressed speculation about Doug Collins and his future with the organization.
The Sixers’ head coach is in his third season with the team. Collins – who previously coached the Wizards, Pistons and Bulls – has never lasted more than three years with any franchise. Do the Sixers expect Collins to return?
“I haven’t had conversations with him about that,” Aron said. “But, look, I’ll say it again: There is no coach controversy in Philadelphia. Doug Collins is a superb NBA coach. I hope Doug Collins is our coach for years and years and years and years. We’ll all see what happens together.”
That last part, about everyone seeing what happens together, made Aron sound somewhat uncertain about what will happen with Collins moving forward. He was asked, again, whether he expects Collins to be back next season.
“I do,” Aron clarified. “But, what I was saying was, I hope he’s not back for one year, I hope he’s back for years and years and years. Having said all that, this isn’t about our coach. This is about an entire organization working together to produce a winning, contending, elite team for Philadelphia and Philadelphia sports fans. This year, primarily because of the [Andrew] Bynum situation, we haven’t been able to do that. There is going to be a lot of work that is going to have to go on in the offseason to take the Sixers from where we are today to where we want them to be.”
The Sixers (23-35) have lost eight of their last nine games, including an abject defeat at home last week courtesy of the hapless Orlando Magic. That loss prompted Collins to vent in what became a much-talked-about postgame press conference. During his remarks, Collins was heavily critical of his team in general and singled out several players by name, including center Spencer Hawes, who mustered just one rebound that evening.
Aron was in that press conference. He stood off to the side, just a few feet away, while Collins expressed his frustration.
“I happen to be a big fan and admirer of Doug Collins,” Aron responded when asked about his reaction to Collins’ comments. “I made that clear from the very first day I came to Philadelphia, and I feel the exact same way today.”
Aron's interview lasted about 20 minutes and also covered the Andrew Bynum situation (see story) and the team's relationship with its fans, which will be posted Tuesday.