Sixers' Doug Collins welcomes Eagles' Chip Kelly to Philly's coaching brethren

RON CORTES / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Andrew Bynum was at the Sixers-Nets game, but didn't talk to the media.
RON CORTES / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Andrew Bynum was at the Sixers-Nets game, but didn't talk to the media.
Posted: March 13, 2013

IT MAY NOT have been the best of times for new Eagles coach Chip Kelly to talk to Doug Collins about what it's like to coach in this city, being as the Sixers had lost 12 of their previous 13 when the two met Monday before the 76ers-Nets game.

Perhaps with the free-agency frenzy about to begin, Kelly was seeking peace and quiet at a Sixers game. If he was looking for advice about fans, Collins has only ever gone one way on that subject.

"Coach Kelly stopped in, and it was nice to meet him," he said. "It will be exciting to see the team that he puts on the field. I know he's very excited, so it was good just to be able to say hello, and, hopefully, we will be able to get together once the season's over.

"I told him what an incredible city this is and how they love their Eagles and the fan base here is great and stuff. He couldn't find a better place to be a coach."

Collins considers Philly the city that taught him to be a man. And he still has those feelings despite this disappointing season and amid the expected groans from the disgruntled fans.

"It used to be guys got to see each other a little bit more," Collins said of the coaching fraternity within a city. "It's just the schedules get so hectic now. I did get a chance to know coach Reid a little bit and the couple of years he had to go through were very tough, not only professionally but personally, with the loss of his son.

"I think, as coaches, we're all sort of kindred spirits, we all feel the pain of each other's losing. That's sort of the way it goes in this business."

Still competing

Jerry Stackhouse was 23 when he was sent by the Sixers to the Detroit Pistons early in the 1997-98 season. His coach in Detroit was Doug Collins, and Stackhouse averaged 15.7 points in 57 games for him. The Sixers' coach is not surprised that Stackhouse, now 38, is still in the NBA, having played in 27 games for New Jersey so far this season.

"He's competitive as can be," Collins said. "I used to always say that if you're going to say something to Jerry, you better be ready for a fight, 'cause that guy's tough, man. He's a real coach's ally, because he knows the game so well. I think he's one of those guys when you start looking at the guys who are playing near their 40s, usually what those guys have is they have a tremendous basketball IQ. They're incredibly competitive and they get to a point in their career where they understand the best role that they can play. It might be that they don't play for six games and all of the sudden be out there and playing for 20 minutes, and when they do they're very, very effective. And that's a coach's dream."

No Bynum

For most of the second half of the season when the Sixers are home on Mondays, injured center Andrew Bynum has updated the media on his balky knees.

There was no such meeting on Monday. It was kind of telling that while the media were in the Sixers' locker room until the allotted time before a game, no one was really looking for or expecting to see the 7-footer. Yes, it's come to that.

Nick Young close

Swingman Nick Young, who has missed the past seven games with a left ankle injury, might return Wednesday when the Sixers host the Miami Heat. Young, who doesn't talk to the media before games, did say, "I should be a go for Wednesday."

"He got out there before we got here and said he was doing better," Doug Collins said. "Hopefully, he can get a good practice in and then I'm assuming if he does, he will be ready to go on Wednesday."

Happy birthday

Wearing a shirt that proclaimed he had been around for 33,237 days, Sixers stat man extraordinaire Harvey Pollack celebrated his 91st birthday Monday at the Wells Fargo Center.

On Twitter: @BobCooney76


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