The first thing any leader in any environment must do upon his/her arrival is sale his system.¬† If nobody buys into your system, you either replace those people with those who will buy into it or you‚Äôll be changing jobs quickly.
NBA coaches Phil Jackson, Larry Brown, Greg Popovich and Jerry Sloan are masters at getting players to accept their philosophy.
The Sixers 2009-2010 season was doomed the moment Eddie Jordan said he was implementing his Princeton offense during the press conference of his hiring.¬† Jordan quickly lost the respect of his players and it was known before the All Star break that he would only be in Philly for one season.
The first thing Collins did as head coach was begin reaching out to his players, starting with Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand.¬† While many hope at least one of these overpaid disappointments is traded this summer, Collins has to approach them as if they‚Äôll both be in Philly in October.
While I disagree with him possibly starting Brand at center and Thaddeus Young at power forward, I do respect the fact that Collins has a plan.
During his conversation with guard Lou Williams, coach Collins asked him if he lost the starting point guard spot, would he be okay with coming off the bench.¬† I loved that question.
With Jrue Holiday and rookie Evan Turner very likely the starting backcourt, Williams will be the first guy off the bench.¬† Williams shouldn‚Äôt be a starting.¬† He has the potential to be an offensive spark the way Vinnie ‚ÄúThe Microwave‚Äù Johnson did during the Detroit Pistons Bad Boys era.
Reading between the lines, Collins question really was ‚ÄúAre you going to be a sixth man here or trade bait??‚Äù
Over the summer and definitely during the preseason the Sixers will find more out about who‚Äôs willing to accept a lesser role if it means a more competitive team.¬† This is how championship teams are assembled.
We‚Äôll see if Williams can backup two players with less experience combined than he has.¬† If he remains a Sixer, will Iguodala defer to Turner if he‚Äôs indeed the better scoring option?¬† One of the reasons Samuel Dalembert was traded is because he didn‚Äôt like how he was used on offense.¬† It was very likely he wasn‚Äôt going to be too fond of how Collins utilized him either.
Lamar Odom understands the Lakers are a better team when he‚Äôs coming off the bench.¬† The Celtics ‚ÄòBig Three‚Äô learned to cater to each other‚Äôs strengths in order to become champions in 2008.
The sooner everyone‚Äôs roles are determined in Philly, the sooner the Sixers will be taken more seriously.¬† Seeing Doug Collins seeking to find out in May and June is definitely a good thing.