Collins, coaches to get together and plan for 76ers season

Posted: September 02, 2011

Although the NBA likely still will be mired in its labor controversy, 76ers coach Doug Collins is gathering his coaching staff next week to prepare for the season.

Collins has spent much of this offseason in San Diego reading, relaxing, and exercising, but he is pushing forward with preparations for the 2011-12 season, regardless of the league's lockout.

"My coaches and I are going to get back together the day after Labor Day. We're going to fly in Sept. 6 and get together, and we're going to spend about 10 days together," Collins said. "We're just going to go through all of our stuff: review last season and watch a lot of tape. We're going to start planning training camp as if it's going to go on as scheduled."

NBA training camps are scheduled to begin around Oct. 1, but the players union and league owners remain far apart on the key issues of a collective bargaining agreement. On Wednesday in New York, the two sides met for only the second time since the lockout began July 1.

For Collins, concern rests not with the labor issue - he wants to keep his hands clean of that - but with proper preparation for his Sixers once the lockout ends. Near the top of his list is hiring a fourth assistant coach to join his staff, which consists of Michael Curry, Brian James, and Aaron McKie. Over the summer, assistant coach Quin Snyder left to join Mike Brown's staff on the Los Angeles Lakers.

"I'm going to bring in four or five guys because we're going to eventually have to hire an assistant coach to take over for Quin," Collins said. "We have some work that we can do, so that's what we're going to be planning on doing."

An odd offseason. Sixers swingman Andre Iguodala is back in Chicago after joining seven of his teammates in Los Angeles for a weekend of workouts and pickup basketball.

This summer, Iguodala traveled to China and France. He also took off for an extended amount of time after the Sixers lost to the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs. Iguodala battled multiple injuries, including Achilles tendinitis.

"It's kind of tough, but I actually took off the longest I've ever taken off," Iguodala said. "I was just beat up, playing so many minutes. So I actually got to rest. I was cautious of not trying to kill myself, pacing."

Without a specific finish line for offseason training - the season may not start until after Christmas - Iguodala said he was "going shorter, but more efficient." Iguodala also said he's stronger and leaner than this time last year but "still not where I want to be."

Before the owner-imposed lockout, Iguodala was enduring a tumultuous offseason: He missed his exit interview, although he said he had a doctor's appointment, and came very close to being traded to the Golden State Warriors for guard Monta Ellis.

In the final days before July 1, Collins talked with Iguodala.

"We spoke; it was really brief," Iguodala explained. "It was about 10 minutes, it wasn't long: What we can do to improve, what our plans are going forward. It wasn't too much. But I've never had a problem with Doug, so we made that clear that we never had issues. So we were good."

Contact staff writer Kate Fagan at or @DeepSixer3 on Twitter. Read her blog, "Deep Sixer," at


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