Doug Collins has done a masterful job as head coach of the 76ers. He's taken essentially the same roster Eddie Jordan had last season and turned a hopeless and rudderless 27-55 team into 41 win (and counting) team with a bright future.
How has he done it? Well, Sports Illustrated's Michael Rosenberg has an outstanding feature on Collins which provides some unique insight into how Collins has righted the 76ers wayward ship. The most amazing part of his amazing story is the revelation that Collins has an unbelievable memory.
"There are benefits to being a human DVR. The 59-year-old Collins has not asked his video coordinator, Monte Shubik, for a copy of a 76ers game all season. At a recent staff meeting one assistant coach mentioned a loss to the Hawks in which Philly guard Lou Williams missed a dunk, triggering an Atlanta rally. "There was 5:14 on the clock," Collins said matter-of-factly, then recited every play that occurred the rest of the game.
"I don't know why I'm still skeptical," Shubik says, but he was. And so, in the middle of the meeting, Shubik started watching that Hawks-Sixers game on his laptop.
Sure enough, there was 5:14 left when Philadelphia's defensive possession started. The rest happened exactly the way Collins said. The game had been played almost four months earlier."
The guy has a videographic memory. He can recall almost any play from the thousands of games he's played in, watched, coached, or announced. He still remembers sequences from his high school playing days.
The story touches on how Collins has evolved from his early coaching days with the Bulls and Pistons into the player hugging man of patience we see pacing the sideline here in Philly. It's a fantastic read and makes you appreciate the stability Collins has brought to the Sixers franchise.