Philadelphia 76ers Rumors
“The world could be crashing down around him, and there was never a day when I didn’t see him with a smile on his face,” Collins said in a phone interview Thursday. “He used to call me Paul Douglas, because that’s my full name — Paul Douglas Collins. And I’d call him Double Stick of Dynamite or D Double D. He was so talented. The game came so easy to him. Maybe too easy. I can’t even imagine how big he’d be if he came along today in this age of social media and top 10 highlights.”
Laughing now, Collins tells a story of sitting next to Dawkins in the locker room in Portland the season the 76ers and Blazers played for the 1977 NBA title and listening in as a sneaker company rep bent Dawkins’ ear about how his company was willing to pay Dawkins double if he’d switch to their brand. “Well, when the guy said how much more they’d pay him,” Collins recalled, “Darryl looked at me and said, ‘Paul Douglas, these old sneakers I have on are killing my feet! I am going to have to get rid of them, just throw ’em in the trash.’ And I said, ‘Darryl, you can’t do that! We’re in the NBA Finals!'” Dawkins stopped. Thought it over. Then came up with this Solomon-like solution: He took the court wearing one shoe from the new sneaker company that was chasing him and one from the first company he’d signed with.
Jahlil Okafor: Darryl Dawkins was an icon, as a Sixer legend but more as a person. He will be truly missed by all. RIP #ChocolateThunder
Noel attempts at least 500 jumpers per day with Carroll and Driscoll closely monitoring everything, from his hand placement to his feet, before his weight training and individual drills. Sixers coach Brett Brown and assistant coach/player development director Billy Lange are consulted about the drills the team wants him to perform during his stay in Newport. Brown even attended one of the workouts for a firsthand glimpse. The work has resulted in an adjustment to his shooting form. Noel slightly moved the placement of his right hand, which he uses to shoot. But the major change came in his left, or guide, hand.
In the past, Noel’s left hand dominated the ball, sitting on top or on the side of it when he shot. “Just getting my left hand off the ball,” Noel said of the adjustment. “During the season, you can’t really work on it as much as you want to and fix the little things. It’s the season, you don’t want to mess with anything.”