Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doug Collins, in his own words, was “trending” after his post-game rant following the Sixers loss to the Orlando Magic on Tuesday.
Collins criticized his team’s effort and went on until Sixers PR stepped in and ended the postgame press conference.
The rant made national news and Collins felt that he did nothing to throw his players under the bus.
“I just thought I was talking about what I expected and I think as a coach, that’s what you do,” Collins said. “There was nobody called out. I just spoke. I’ve never been a guy, where if you lost a game and you competed your best, that I was ever disappointed. I’ve always been disappointed when I felt like the team didn’t do everything we could to win. I was trying to get the spin on this on how I was being so hard. I don’t think I did that at all. I think the players know that. We’re a big honesty group. I think that’s what you need to do. I think our guys know what’s expected when you put on a Sixers uniform on and how we have to play. I was shocked. My phone was blowing up. I didn’t realize I had been so tough.”
The Sixers (22-33), just like the Bulls this season, have been dealing with their own injuries.
Offseason acquisition, Andrew Bynum has yet to play a game for Philadelphia. The 7-foot big man was supposed to be the center piece for them after they departed with Andre Iguodala and also receiving Jason Richardson (out for the season/ knee) in the trade that sent Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers. But bone bruises and cartilage damage in both knees have kept Bynum out of the lineup all season. Add that to a new cast of players from last season’s team and the Sixers have struggled to find any semblance of consistency.
Bynum recently practiced five-on-zero drills last week and the consensus is that he will play at some point this season. But it appears that it would do little to help the team in the playoff standings.
While the games, stature and size of both Derrick Rose and Andrew Bynum are different. There’s no questioning the fact that their respected teams are considerably better.
Rose tore his ACL in the first game of last postseason’s first round series against Philadelphia on April 28 and underwent surgery on May 12. Considering that the game was nationally televised on TNT, just as tonight’s game is, Collins expected the point guard to return tonight.
“I thought for sure he was going to play tonight,” Collins said. “Got hurt against Philadelphia. Come back against Philadelphia. Game on TNT. I can just see him running out like an Adidas commercial.”
Rose faced criticism with the comments he made to USA Today, a few weeks ago, about wanting to be ‘110 percent’ before returning and being fine with sitting out this season if he didn’t reach a level he was comfortable with. The criticism only heightened when Rose's older brother, Reggie, voiced his displeasure with the lack of talent around his younger brother, saying that the franchise not making any moves to better the team could play a 'big factor' in whether his brother comes back this season.
Collins, who suffered the same injury in the same knee back in 1980, backs Rose and the Bulls for how they’re handling his coming back.
“The Chicago Bulls have a tremendous investment in Derrick Rose. You want to make sure that this guy is ready to go,” he said. “I think we take a guy like Adrian Peterson and we see this guy rehab, was back, and playing football and you sort of expect everyone to have the same timetable. Knees are different. Every player is different. Every body’s game is different. Derrick is an explosive player. He plays in the lane and is landing in a lot of bodies and a lot of congestion.
“More importantly, he’s going to have to be very confident when he plays – about being able to explode off that leg, being able to come down in a crowd and do the things he has to do,” he continued. “Jerry Reinsdorf and the Bulls’ organization, they’re not short-sighted people. They view the big picture. I think they feel like they have a franchise that has a chance to be good for a long time and Derrick Rose is the guy who is going to make that special. So, I totally understand. I had knee injuries. Maybe sometimes I tried to come back it set me back too soon. If this guy can do it in eight [months], I can do it in seven. It doesn’t work that way.”
Prior to the game, Rose warmed up and completed several dunks off both legs.