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Collins resigns as Sixers coach

<p>Doug Collins has resigned as head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers.</p>

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Doug Collins has resigned as head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Sixers owner Josh Harris made the announcement Thursday, saying it was Collins' decision not to return for a fourth season.

"This is his decision," said Harris. "He is not being pushed out."

Collins had one year remaining on a four-year contract, but will remain with the organization in an advisory role.

The 76ers were 34-48 this season, ending a disappointing campaign on Wednesday with a 105-95 win over Indiana. Philadelphia reached the playoffs in each of Collins' first two seasons, including a trip to the Eastern Conference semifinals last spring.

Collins guided the Sixers to a mark of 110-120 in three seasons, but said Thursday he had made the decision to call it quits in late December.

"I was not going to base this on winning and losing. There are a lot of things I want to enjoy," said Collins, who added he was now planning to watch his son, Chris, start his first season as head coach at Northwestern. "I want to see him grow. I want to see him coach."

Collins indicated that this will be his last coaching stop. He posted a record of 442-407 with the Bulls (1986-89), Pistons (1995-98), Wizards (2001-03) and Sixers. His teams have been to the playoffs seven times, going as far as the conference finals with the Bulls in the spring of 1989.

The 62-year-old Hall of Fame broadcaster spent his entire NBA playing career with the 76ers (1973-81) and averaged 17.9 points a game. He was the No. 1 overall draft pick in 1973.

"We wanted Doug to come back," Harris stressed. "At the same time, I respect his decision as a man."

The Sixers followed last year's successful playoff run by acquiring Andrew Bynum from the Lakers as part of a four-team blockbuster deal in August. Bynum, however, never played a game for the 76ers because of knee issues.

"Did we have the year we wanted to have? Absolutely not, but a lot of that was out of our control," Collins stated, not mentioning Bynum by name. "We swung for the fences and it didn't work. We took a chance and it didn't work out. Now we have to move forward."

Bynum, who had setback after setback before undergoing season-ending surgery in March, is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Philadelphia shipped out Andre Iguodala as well as rookie Moe Harkless and second-year player Nikola Vucevic to acquire Bynum and Jason Richardson, whose season also ended early because of knee surgery.

As for his potential replacement, Collins said assistant Michael Curry deserves a chance.

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