Doug Collins is resigning as head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, but he isn’t going far.
Collins announced Thursday that he won’t be on the bench anymore for the Sixers but is staying on as an adviser to the franchise. He had one year left on his four-year contract.
Collins is leaving after the Sixers failed to live up the expectations created when the team traded for center Andrew Bynum last year. Bynum was unable to play at all this year with knee ailments, and instead of contending with the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks for the Atlantic Division, the Sixers fell to 34-48 and missed the playoffs.
Doug Collins said he resigned from his coaching position for family reasons.
”There are a lot of things I want to enjoy,” he said.
There were reports that Collins wasn’t up for the long rebuilding process ahead of the team, but he said he’s proud of what he accomplished.
”I don’t have to drop my head. I didn’t fail,” Collins said. ”A lot of it was out of our control and sometimes you have to realize that. We’ve got a lot of good young pieces and we probably played our best basketball the last six weeks of the season, which was important to me.”
Doug Collins led the team to a high point last season, when as the eighth seed in the playoffs the Sixers upset the Chicago Bulls and took the Boston Celtics to Game 7 in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
”He loves the 76ers, he loves the city. He’s not planning on coaching anywhere else,” said Philadelphia owner Josh Harris. ”I tried to convince Doug to stay. We wanted Doug to come back. Why wouldn’t you want a great coach to come back? At the same time I recognize his desire as a man.”
News that Doug Collins was resigning had actually broke earlier in the week, but his agent denied the resignation reports and said Collins would be with the team for “at least one more season.” The agent didn’t specify if it would be as coach, however.