Jrue Holiday sounded as though Collins is the major reason he became an NBA all-star in his fourth season in the league. That's partly why Holiday said it's sad to see Collins go.
"I feel like Coach has put his heart into our team," he said. "I feel like he's put his heart into our city, and you can't take that away from him. He's a winner."
Holiday wants the next Sixers coach to be defensive-minded and have Collins' coaching style.
"I actually like Doug's style," he said. "He had emotion, the fire and desire. He kind of pushed us in that way."
Despite that, the Sixers (34-48) just completed one of their worst campaigns in 14 seasons. But Young does not blame Collins.
"Right now, this is a team that could have been great," Young said.
Young said the Sixers need to acquire a center and good backup point guard to make a playoff push next season.
The Sixers won't rule out re-signing Andrew Bynum, who was an all-star center for the Lakers before being acquired in a four-team trade and then missing the season with bad knees.
"That's a tricky situation," Holiday said about Bynum. "I think Andrew might be the best big in the league if he's healthy."
Evan Turner tried to clarify his relationship with his former coach.
The second overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft had arguably the toughest time finding a comfort zone during his three seasons under Collins. There were reports that they didn't get along.
But Turner said he appreciated the things Collins did for him and the Sixers.
"And I think just in general after this crazy year, we all need a fresh start," he said.
Contact Keith Pompey at email@example.com Follow on Twitter @pompeysgridlock