Doug Collins coached Michael Jordan with the Chicago Bulls and coached for Jordan when Jordan ran the Washington Wizards front office.
So now-Philadelphia 76ers coach Collins knows well as anyone what drives Jordan, owner of the Charlotte Bobcats. Collins volunteered Monday morning that a 14-game losing streak must be brutal on a man of Jordans makeup. The most competitive human being Ive been around in my life bar none is Michael Jordan. I just know from his standpoint, how difficult this is, Collins said.
The No. 1 thing for him is compete every single moment. Im sure thats the message hes trying to send to this franchise: We do have some young pieces, weve had some injuries, but you have to compete every single moment.
Collins has a tie to the worst team in NBA history the nine-win 72-73 Sixers. They used the resulting No. 1 overall pick to draft Collins.
To go 9-73, I cant even fathom it, said Collins. You lose two or three games in this league and you feel like youll never win again.
Collins said he felt extra pressure his rookie season, since Philadelphia bore such scars from the preceding season. That dynamic was amplified by a preseason injury. I sat out the six weeks prior to training camp, Collins recalled. My foot was still broken, the doctor told me, (but) I came out of a cast and two days later tried playing.
Collins eventually re-fractured his foot and played just 25 games his rookie season.
That (next) summer I was so driven to come back and say, I hope they know thats not the player theyre getting. That was very motivating, said Collins, who finished a three-time All-Star over an eight-season career.