A Running Commentary of the Sixers' Season-Ending (Coach-Resigning!) Press Conference
Josh Harris and Doug Collins met with reporters today for a season-ending, coach-resigning press conference – a SECRPC™, as I’m calling it, because I think that’s a business acronym Harris would appreciate – to put a wrap on the season that, really, never was. The curious decision was made to put first Harris and then Collins directly in front of a gaggle of standing reporters instead of on a podium, which would have been the professional, and usual, thing to do.
Harris was candid and came across better than he ever has before, but he still seemed overwhelmed, like a police spokesperson following a disaster, with all the mics and notebooks in his face. When Collins came out, he dwarfed Harris, which is a bad visual – something any PR pro would tell you – and it’s amazing that someone like, say, PR and marketing guru Adam Aron didn’t think of this. Speaking of: Aron, ostensibly the face of the franchise, perhaps to its detriment, was notably absent, and he’s barely tweeted in the past week. Someone – perhaps Aron, perhaps Harris, perhaps someone else – made the decision to suppress his sometimes off-message thoughts.
Harris spoke like a businessman in talking about the team– cost per wins, using more analytics, ROI, etc. I have no problem with that. But, I did have a problem with the fact that Harris, the majority owner, had to leave early, at 10:30, while Collins was still in front of mics. A very important businessman, Harris clearly couldn’t spare more than 30 minutes today for his SECRPC™.
Collins, meanwhile, was genuinely broken up about leaving the coaching profession. He’ll remain on with the Sixers as an “advisor” for five years, he said. This will allow him to spend time with his grandkids and attend his son’s coaching games at
Duke Northwestern, something he said he missed this year.
Collins also spoke about how great he is. Quite often. Frequently. A lot. He spoke about how great of a man he is. He did that a lot.
What follows is a running commentary from the presser. Each line, a new thought. Quotes are in quotes, and paraphrasing is not. My thoughts follow, in italics.
Doug Collins will not be back, but he’ll serve as an advisor. That’s a nice way of saying, “We’re still paying him, so… yeah.”
“Bynum is a needle mover, a top 15 player.” You get the sense the Sixers are seriously considering brining him back.
Pressed by Howard Eskin: “I know a lot about Andrew’s knees. More than I wanted to know, more than you know.” A funny followed by a dig at Eskin. Yeah, I can dig that.
We learned a lot– first season won more than everyone though, lost more than everyone thought. Well, not everyone. Some of us thought Bynum, Kwame Brown and Swaggy P were not a winning formula.
The GM, Tony DiLeo and I, will be the ultimate decision makers. Two fine basketball men, indeed. Is DiLeo really sticking around? Because he’s not good at his job.
“I tried to convince Doug to stay. When someone says they want to spend time with their grandkids, help their son, it’s a decision I respect.” I respect that too, Joshua.
[Interesting that Harris is doing this, not Aron, who has barely tweeted in two weeks.]
Don’t want to make an assessment of Bynum’s health that will help other teams. Um, what? That he just underwent surgery on his 90-year-old knees? I think they can probably deduce this one themselves. But nice poker face.
“Open and interested in Bynum coming back.” Fuck me.
“ROI on our investment was very low. Some of the player decisions that were made didn’t pan out.” Correct.
“Certainly there will be more analytics in decision-making.” The Sixers continuously talk about metrics. This will be a theme going forward.
“Cost per win – which is a metric we’re now using – it’s very low.” See? Someone should get the CPW in front of the Phillies– because their’s has gone down every season since 2008.
Ladies and gentlemen, the man of the hour, from Illinois, the great and powerful DOUG COLLINS, WHO GETS ALL CAPS:
When did you decide you weren’t coming back: “About Christmas.” Are you fucking kidding me? Then quit. Instead, he goes out and throws his lousy team under the bus? That takes balls. Big ones. Doug Collins balls.
“The thing that stunned me the most was at the end that [the media] made it look like [the owners] didn’t want me.” This is akin to a guy cheating on his girlfriend and then being pissed that she is thinking about breaking up.
“I wish when people would write things, they’d consider what happened in those third years [while coaching other teams and subsequently leaving after three years].” He’s trying to make the point that he doesn’t burn out after three years. But I disagree. He does. It’s obvious.
“I didn’t get down to a Duke game last year, and I miss that.” Shame.
“I think I can bring my brain [as an advisor].” Thanks, Doug. The billionaire needs you.
“If I write a book, the name of my book is going to be: Always a Winner, Never a Champion.” A Philadelphia story.
Josh Harris, important businessman, had to leave this season-ending, coach resigning press conference, this SECRPC™. Thanks, owner.
“I’m not one of these guys who burns bridges. I learned a long time ago, you burn a lot of bridges, you might not be able to cross the street again.” Somewhere, a chicken is trying to figure out why you would ever want to cross anyway.
Will stay on five years with Sixers. Now THAT’S golden parachute a rich guy like Harris could be proud of.
“I want to walk in this city and I want to be proud.” Passionate and intense, too?
“I don’t want you to miss a coach, I want you to miss a man.” We’ve never met, Doug. So…
“I want [Harris] to utilize my 40 years experience.” He needs you. We need you. Obvi!
“I didn’t throw anybody under the bus, I spoke the truth [when criticizing team].” Which was throwing them under the bus.
“We went out and got Swaggy and Dorrell [last year].” First problem.
“I’m all about relationships and the game.” Oh my God stop.
“I’m going to be a Sixer for life.” Or until Christmas. AMIRITE?
“We’ve won eight playoff games in two years. The Knicks have won one in 12 years.” Nice.
I was probably the only coach in the league who would go down and shake the other coach’s hand. I bought a kid in Ethiopia!!!*
*I didn’t. But if Doug did, he would tell you.
“Talk to the equipment trainer and massage therapists… those are the people who would say I’m not a bad guy.” Who said you were?
I didn’t tell my players of decision to resign. Why not?
“I didn’t want to. I had things I had to do.” Wait, really??
Collins ends in tears, saying he loves city and will miss media. And with that, he ascended up to the front office.