Apparently Philadelphia 76ers coach Doug Collins has a memory that will put us all to shame, and that's coming from someone who can remember what he read Zander Hollander said about what Johnny Davis gave the 1984-85 Cleveland Cavaliers ("level-headed leadership") while also recalling what he was eating while he read that (an Italian beef sandwich). As Trey Kerby said at my wedding, "Kelly remembers everything."
But Doug Collins? He remembers everything, and then what happened next. And also what happened before that. From Sports Illustrated:
There are benefits to being a human DVR. The 59-year-old Collins has not asked his video coordinator, Monte Shubik, for a copy of a 76ers game all season. At a recent staff meeting one assistant coach mentioned a loss to the Hawks in which Philly guard Lou Williams missed a dunk, triggering an Atlanta rally. "There was 5:14 on the clock," Collins said matter-of-factly, then recited every play that occurred the rest of the game.
"I don't know why I'm still skeptical," Shubik says, but he was. And so, in the middle of the meeting, Shubik started watching that Hawks-Sixers game on his laptop.
Sure enough, there was 5:14 left when Philadelphia's defensive possession started. The rest happened exactly the way Collins said. The game had been played almost four months earlier.
There is the possibility that this is all some elaborate prank, meant to gaslight Shubik into thinking the Sixers coach has total recall. That Doug is secretly seeking out Synergy or other game tapes, bringing up anecdotes that were actually well-researched, just to mess with his head in hopes that Shubik will go on record about Collins' brilliant memory.
Or, it could be that Doug Collins has an amazing memory. We're going with the latter.
Remember that Collins' nickname in Chicago (I do, at least) was "Play-a-Day Collins," because he seemingly brought a new play to practice each day that he coached the Bulls. That's not as simple as it sounds -- even nearly 25 years after Collins earned that nickname, teams are still relying heavily on the plays they ran in that era, and 25 years prior to that era. Everyone still runs the same sets, and yet Doug was coming up with new plays almost daily. He might burn out, eventually, and he's always had issues putting the right players into his rotations, but holy cow does that guy know basketball.
And, apparently, the exact time and place he realized that he knew basketball, and the play he conceived immediately following.
- Doug Collins