Its great to see that everyone is ready to move on. Reinsdorf told the Chicago Tribune:
"When we fired Doug, I made a statement—that many people have thrown in my face—that he got us from Point A to Point B but couldn't get us to Point C. It's proved to be right because Doug was very young and very emotional. Twenty years later, people change. You have to keep an open mind. Firing Doug had nothing to do with his coaching ability or basketball knowledge. He's a brilliant basketball mind. I have tremendous respect and admiration for Doug."I am so ready to go "back to the future." Chuck Swirsky, Bulls public address announcer from 1980 to 1983, was rehired a few weeks ago to do Bulls radio play-by-play. After Doug is back in the Bulls family, let's hope they bring back Nancy Faust and Ray Clay. MJ, the player, will never return, but the Bulls do get to select the likely-to-be-anointed "next Michael Jordan."
Time will tell whether this turns out to be a good hire, although let the debate begin. Personally, I like the move. Doug is a NBA-lifer. He has a great basketball mind and has the ability to teach and coach. And I think he's mellowed.
Henry Abbott brought up some past issues, which I think are mostly irrelevant, but worth addressing. Henry cited Phil Jackson's assessment of Collins in Jackson's book "Sacred Hoops." Wrote Jackson, "At the core of my vision was getting the players to think more for themselves. Collins had kept the younger players, especially Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant, on a tight rein, frequently yelling at them when they made mistakes. Throughout the game, they'd look over at the bench, nervously trying to read his mind."
1) Collins coached Pip and Grant in their first two seasons in the NBA. Not many NBA coaches want to stake their championship hopes on rookies and second-year players. Most rookies look over their shoulders.
2) Phil Jackson was a Jerry Krause-guy. He was hired by Krause without Doug's input. When Jackson replaced Collins, he came into a great situation. That doesn't diminish what he did to get the Bulls to point C, but I don't think anything Jackson wrote in a book 13 years ago about Doug is relevant. Doug and Phil were young rivals who, whether true or not, were pitted against each other -- in the media and by Jerry Krause.
Yes, Collins micro-coached when he coached the Bulls, but even that is overstated. One of my favorite Doug Collins quotes was after MJ hit "The Shot" at the end of Game 5 of the 1989 Eastern Conference playoff game between the Bulls and the Cavaliers. When asked what play he called, Doug said: "That play was, Give the ball to Michael and everyone else get the @##@#% out of the way." That's great non-coaching.