Doug Collins is excited to coach the immortal Kwame Brown once again, so much so that he has already named him the Philly Sixers’ new starting center. Per the Inquirer: “Speaking Tuesday afternoon at a news conference at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Collins said he expects to start Brown and slide Spencer Hawes, last season’s starting center, over to power forward in a lineup that will also see Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, and Andre Iguodala back in the starting lineup. Brown passed his team physical Tuesday, clearing the way for his two-year, $6 million deal to become official. He became the first player in league history to be selected directly out of high school with the top pick in the draft when the Washington Wizards – then coached by Collins – drafted a 19-year-old Brown in 2001. Since then, he has done nothing to distinguish himself. He had his best season in his third year in the league, when he averaged 10.9 points and 7.4 rebounds in 2003-04. Some contend that he is the worst top pick in NBA history. To which Collins and the Sixers say: So what. ‘I think when people view Kwame Brown they look at a guy who was a bust as the No. 1 draft pick in the NBA,’ Collins said, ‘and that’s not what we’re signing him for. I had him at that period in time when he was 19 years old, and I understand the pressure that young guy was under. I wish I could go back and be a better coach and a better mentor for him at that time.’ Collins believes that Brown, who appeared in nine games last season with Golden State before undergoing season-ending surgery for a pectoral injury in January, has grown up and matured.”
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