Sixers coach Collins downplays honor

Andre Iguodala is fouled by Mavs' Dirk Nowitzki in second quarter.
Andre Iguodala is fouled by Mavs' Dirk Nowitzki in second quarter.
Posted: March 02, 2011

Doug Collins walked through the 76ers' locker room more than an hour before the game, and Jrue Holiday and rookie Evan Turner couldn't contain their excitement from their seats.

"Coach of the month, baby," they said and shared hand slaps.

Yesterday, Collins was named the Eastern Conference coach of the month as his team went 9-3 in February.

As customary, Collins shunned the spotlight when asked about the award.

"It's quite an honor, and I said the reason you get the opportunity for something like this is when you have the team of the month, and that's the way I look at it. We have the team of the month," Collins said before last night's game against the Dallas Mavericks.

"Like anything else, I'm not looking for any accolades or those kinds of things. When good things happen like that, I don't ever use something like this as an incentive or see it as a reward. When you're being paid to do something, money has never been an incentive to me. It's always been rewarding to try and do something well. I've always tried to do my job well, whatever it is.

"I've been fortunate to have a lot of good players in my career, and I think this is extra special for me being back in Philadelphia, from where we started this year, watching these young guys and how excited they are to be in a playoff race, watching them do their job."

During pregame introductions, Collins was introduced and shyly waved to the Wells Fargo Center fans, who loudly applauded.

"It's definitely cool," Turner said. "It's a sign of us all chipping in and staying together and putting together a great month. We definitely respond to his coaching and go out there and execute. He works hard to make sure we're ready and prepared."

Collins has been instrumental in bringing along Turner, who wasn't exactly comfortable with the NBA game at the beginning of the season.

"I was in a dark hole," the rookie said, laughing. "I couldn't see anything; there was no light. I see the light now. I started to see it about a month and a half ago. I started learning the NBA game, that it's never over till it's over. We've been in games where we were down 15 and come back in, like, 2 minutes. And vice versa."

Tough Monday

Collins spent Monday night at the Palestra watching the Archbishop Carroll boys' and girls' basketball teams compete in the Catholic League championships. Collins' son-in-law, Paul Romanczuk, is the head coach of the Carroll boys, who lost, 59-55, to Ss. Neumann-Goretti.

"Man, that was real tough," Collins said. "When your 4-year-old grandson is sitting on your lap and he sees his daddy lose, he was just sobbing.

"I said it doesn't take these young kids long to figure out what winning and losing means and how it affects their daddies and their families and stuff like that. He was sobbing at the girls' game. They lost on the last shot. He reminds me of my son, Chris. When Chris was that age, winning and losing, he took it so hard."

Kapono out

Jason Kapono was not with the team last night because of what the team called personal reasons. He will return later this week.

Kapono, who missed time earlier this season for personal reasons, had been the subject of some trade rumors and talk that his contract might get bought out. A team source said last night his contract will not be bought out. *

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