In addition to his team-first approach, Collins is known for being a superior teacher of the game, with a hands-on, vocal coaching style that allows him to connect with his players. Along with that, he preaches mental toughness. His message seems to be working.
“In the NBA, one thing you find out after you’ve been in the league for a while, very seldom do you ever feel 100 percent for a game,” Collins said. “If you ask Dwyane Wade and LeBron James and Chris Bosh right now before a game how do they feel, something’s hurting. What the great players do is they have an incredible mental capacity to fight through that.
“I was with the best in Michael Jordan. I saw this guy, and you would think he had nothing left, and he’d go out and get 50 points. It’s just the mental ability to fight through the grind.”
If there is any knock on Collins, it’s that his level of intensity can ultimately cause burnout - for him and his players.
“Sometimes, we think he’s a little bit too passionate,” 76ers forward Thaddeus Young said. “In some games, he’ll be looking like he’s about to cry if we lose. But that comes with the package. That’s what makes us play harder and go out there and win. I love playing for him. He’s one of the best coaches in the world.”
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