Blogs > Deitch on the 76ers

Daily Times staff writer Dennis Deitch covers the 76ers

Monday, March 28, 2011

Li'l Wayne, Big Dougie

So in case you haven't heard, a few of the Sixers spent the Saturday night before a noon game against the Kings at a Li'l Wayne concert. That probably would not have been a big deal if the Sixers beat the Kings ... but they didn't.

And so it became a pretty big deal.

Of the players at the concert, Lou Williams had the biggest clunker, shooting 1-for-12 from the floor, with the only make a 3-pointer that sent the game to OT. Thad Young also had an awful day, but he was not at the concert.

There are going to be people on both sides of this issue -- those who feel the players have the right to socialize, provided it doesn't mess with their work performance, and others who are going to think it is irresponsible and reprehensible.

As for the coach ... he is somewhere in between. Collins didn't tear into his players for going to the concert, but he wasn't really siding with them, either.

Collins: “I spoke to them and said, ‘You guys need to get together, talk about it and decide what you feel about it, and go from there.’ I turned it over to the team.
“I said, ‘You guys decide. We have 10 more games to go. You decide what we should be doing at this time of year. They’re men, so I let them make the decision.’
“My feeling is that any time you choose to go to a public setting like that, you’re going to put yourself in a situation where there could be some consequences. If we have noon game, and you lose it or don’t play well, you’re going to be under the microscope. I think it’s like anything else. If you choose to do something, there’s probably going to be some kind of ramification, either good or bad."
Collins played this game, and he played with some of the, uh, more socially interesting guys of the day -- World Free, Darryl Dawkins -- so he knows a little something about the need to socialize.

But one of the points of pride Collins has in his players is their commitment to a system that requires selflessness and sacrifice. I got the sense from Collins' response that the players attending the concert did disappoint him. But if it's an anomaly and not a trend, the matter can be closed quickly and without any lingering angst.


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