Doug Collins, second year head coach of the free-falling Philadelphia Sixers (losers of 4 straight, and currently clinging on to the final Playoff spot in the Eastern Conference), thinks players today are a tad soft and a bit too sensitive. From SB Nation: “The one thing about players today is that they’re very sensitive, and very fragile,’ Collins said. ‘They didn’t grow up with tough coaches. You know, I had my ass kicked since I was six. It’s a different time, and so I treat this team very much with kid gloves. I really do, and I’m still looked at as an ogre.’ That doesn’t make things easy for Collins, who must always be conscious about what he says. ‘It’s terrible, I mean, it’s hard. It really is hard.’ he said. ‘I honestly find myself during the games looking at the coach [and asking], ‘Was I alright with those guys during that timeout? Did I hurt anybody’s feelings? Was I OK?’… ‘Coach, you’re fine, you’re fine’… I said ‘OK, OK, I just wanted to make sure I didn’t hurt anybody’s feelings.’ That’s the sensitivity, and the younger the guys, it seems like the more sensitive. And that’s what you’re wrestling with.’ Young and sensitive doesn’t always make for a good mix, but that’s the hand Collins has been dealt. Philadelphia is the NBA’s 11th youngest team this season with an average age of 26.34. ‘We’re still a very young group, and with a young group there goes a lot of ups and downs,’ said Collins. ‘The one beauty of coaching a veteran team is guys have seen a lot and they’ve been around a lot of coaches, and so there’s a different perspective. … Younger players are still carving their own niche, you know. They’re still carving their own niche as players, finding out who they are. And so as a coach, piecing that together is a very delicate thing.'”
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