Monday, April 9, 2012

Doug Collins calls young players sensitive and fragile

It looks like Doug Collins may be wearing out his welcome in Philadelphia. After the 76ers got off to a fast start, shocking most of the league, they're sputtering to the finish and Collins' hard driving ways may be too much for the young Sixers.

The Sixers were one of the top four teams, record wise, in the Eastern Conference, now find themselves trying to fend off the Milwaukee Bucks for the eighth and final spot.

Collins wants to be hard on his young team, but says that he can't because they're too sensitive and fragile.

“The one thing about players today is that they’re very sensitive, and very fragile,” Collins said before his team’s game against the Boston Celtics on Easter Sunday. “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…

“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.”

Collins has worn out his welcome every where he's been. Chicago, Detroit, and now here in Philly. My guess is that the young Sixers are tuning him out and he might know the end is near. I'll be watching to see how this plays out. 

Zach Randolph involved in car accident

Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph is trying to find his rhythm after coming back from knee surgery and missing a good portion of this NBA campaign. Randolph is a walking double-double and is slowly finding his way as the Grizzlies try to secure the fourth seed in the Western Conference NBA playoffs.

What Randolph didn't count on was being involved in a car accident that left him with a sore back by his own admission. Randolph did not participate in the team's shootaround and replied to a text message that asked if he was ok.

Randolph replied: “Yes. My back is just a little sore.”

A preliminary Memphis Police Department report stated that Randolph was driving his 2011 Dodge Charger westbound on the 385 exit ramp toward 240 when his vehicle was struck in the rear by a 2000 Honda CRV. There were no visible injuries on the scene and no one was transported in an ambulance. The driver of the Honda received a citation for Failure to Maintain a Safe Lookout.

The Grizzlies are battling with the Los Angeles Clippers for the fourth seed and home court in the first round. They'll need Randolph at nearly full strength to make a run. Even with him trying to find his rhythm that would be good enough for the Grizzlies. If the back is going to be a problem, it could be a first round flameout for Memphis.

Izzo thinks it would be different if Kentucky's players were white

John Calipari doesn't have too many fans in the college basketball world. Bob Knight is the most famous Calipari critic, citing his recruitment of one and done players that many say are ruining the sport of college basketball.

Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo has a different take on the national championship winning program. In an article with William C. Rhoden of the New York Times, Izzo doesn't hold back when he was asked if the Kentucky players were white and athletic, would they be thought of differently.

 “I want to answer that as honestly as I can,” Izzo said. “I think it would be different. I hate to say that.”

The perception is that these five black players are not serious students and don’t belong at the university. If they were white, there would be more acceptance that they belong at the university.

“It’s sad for me to say, but it’s probably the truth,” Izzo said. Perception or not, the reality is that the sports industry has done its part preparing young men and women for their careers as professional athletes. Only a small percentage will succeed, but only a fraction succeed at the highest level in any profession.

It's the age old question. The double edged sword. No one says anything when a bonus baby is drafted out of high school into Major League Baseball. Or when golf, tennis, or hockey players go pro. But when underclassmen declare for the NBA draft, most of them young and black it's a big deal. It's like when the Fab Five were at Michigan, when they lost they were undisciplined and thuggish. But when they won they were "playing the right way".

Can someone please define that one for me. If you can play and are good enough to go pro right away, then go.