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Thursday, May 20, 2010
Updated: May 21, 2:24 PM ET
Sixers hire TNT analyst Collins

ESPN.com news services

The Philadelphia 76ers agreed on a four-year deal with TV analyst Doug Collins to become their new coach, a source told ESPN.com's Chris Sheridan on Thursday.

The 76ers announced Collins' hiring Friday without releasing details of the contract.

Doug Collins
Doug Collins will be the new coach of the 76ers.

Team president Ed Stefanski interviewed Collins on May 1, and he emerged as the leading candidate to replace the fired Eddie Jordan. The pool of candidates included former Dallas Mavericks coach Avery Johnson and Toronto Raptors coach Sam Mitchell.

Collins is 332-287 in coaching stints with the Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards. The 76ers made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 1973 draft, and he played eight seasons with the team.

The 58-year-old will need time to build a winner in Philadelphia that other coaches haven't been afforded. Since Larry Brown left in 2003, four others have failed to coach more than 82 games for the organization.

Jordan, Stefanski's first major coaching hire, flopped in his lone season. After first-round exits in the playoffs two straight seasons, the Sixers finished 27-55 and in the draft lottery.

This could turn out as the most pivotal offseason for the Sixers since they selected Allen Iverson with the No. 1 overall pick in 1996. The Sixers moved up from the sixth spot to grab the No. 2 pick in Tuesday's lottery.

Now they know who will coach whomever they draft.

Collins guided a young Michael Jordan and the Bulls from 1986-89 and the Pistons from 1995-98. He coached Jordan again with the Wizards from 2001-03.

His two seasons with the Wizards were his only two full seasons in which he did not lead his team to the playoffs. He was fired shortly after Jordan was denied a return to the front office.

Stefanski and other members of Sixers management also interviewed Phoenix Suns assistant coach Dan Majerle, Houston Rockets assistant Elston Turner, Portland Trail Blazers assistant Monty Williams and former Pistons star Bill Laimbeer.

Collins has been with TNT since leaving the Wizards.

He was a four-time All-Star with the Sixers, and he averaged 17.9 points in a career marred by injuries. A knee injury forced him to retire in 1981, two years before the 76ers beat the Los Angeles Lakers for the 1983 NBA title.

Collins received the Curt Gowdy Media Award at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September for his work as a broadcaster.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.