Doug received a nice compliment from the superstar he coached back in those star-crossed Detroit days. The Philadelphia Daily News reports: “After 7 years away from coaching, relaxing in the relative solitude of the TV booth, Collins is back to try to turn around the 76ers. He is the seventh since Larry Brown to try. ‘The Sixers are getting a coach who puts every ounce of his energy into making the team better,’ said Hill, who has fought through an agonizing series of foot and ankle surgeries to resurrect his career with the Phoenix Suns, currently fighting for their lives against the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference finals. ‘With Doug, they’ll be prepared, they’ll be in great shape. He’s an unbelievable motivator. He’ll get them to play. It wouldn’t surprise me if they’re a playoff team next year. My experience is, when you haven’t made the playoffs there are issues, problems. Doug works to change the culture. I was with Dumars, Houston, Lindsey Hunter, Theo Ratliff, Michael Curry, Aaron McKie in Detroit. We grew up together. We all learned a lot; we all had long careers. Some of us are in coaching, some are still playing, some are working in the front office. The point is, Doug teaches you to be a professional. I had had some success at Duke, then won 28 games as a rookie. I found out that you can learn how to lose. Doug breaks you of that, demanding a lot from the players and from himself. He has an ability to communicate and to teach.'”
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