One is a 60-year-old, easily excitable, frequently crazed, naturally emotional basketball coach. The other is a 23-year-old, not so easily excitable, rarely (if ever) crazed, naturally laid-back basketball player.
On the surface, the two have very little in common, and when the coach is sweating more than his players on certain nights, it's hard to see how the relationship could possibly succeed. But it has, and it is.
Dei Lynam has written a piece discussing the relationship between Sixers rookie big man Lavoy Allen and his coach Doug Collins. It's focus is on Allen's (usually referred to as) "passive" attitude, and how it hasn't stopped him from being productive thus far in the NBA, or from playing a crucial role on a playoff team on the biggest stage of his career.
“Everybody doesn’t have my personality, like let’s go kill somebody. They just don’t,” Collins said. “Some guys are just lower key, but that doesn’t mean they are less of a competitor. I am getting better with that. I’m 60 and maybe at 62 I’ll understand that, but I am getting better.
“[Lavoy] has a very calm personality, so you can not get lost in that demeanor and think that motor isn’t running because the other day he was one of the most active guys on the floor for us. He’s been great for us.”
Through two playoff games, Allen is averaging 7.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in 23 minutes per game. Perhaps most importantly for a team who's coach stresses defense, Allen has proved up to the task defending the low post, holding his position when getting bodied by the likes of Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah and Omer Asik.
Back to his attitude, it was one of the biggest questions surrounding Allen following the completion of his senior year at Temple: does this guy have the "motor" it takes to play in the NBA? When we had a chance to sit down with him at Sixers training camp in December, we asked about his public reputation for being "soft" and if it bothered him at all:
"I've been hearing that since high school, so it's not a surprise," Allen said. "My opinion about…I don't pay too much attention, you know, to what people say. I just pay attention to, like…at the time, I was listening to what the NBA scouts were saying and listening to them. I wasn't really worried about what the public opinion was. And right now the only opinion I'm really worried about is what coach Collins and his assistants think."
On such assistant, Jeff Capel, recently pulled Allen aside, and according to Lynam's story, and compared the rookie to another A-10 product in two-time NBA All-Star David West, insisting that Lavoy could be similarly successful.
As for what Collins thinks about his rookie now nearly six months removed from that first night at training camp, well, he still can't really relate, but that doesn't mean he isn't jealous of him either.
“I just want one Lavoy Allen day, just one in my life,” Collins said chuckling. “Where you walk around and you don’t have a care in the world. I’m not greedy I just want one."
Not bad for a second round draft pick who was never going to make it.
Link:>>>Calm Attitude Not Keeping Sixers' Allen from Success [CSNPhilly]
Previously:>>>Lavoy Allen Interview: On Doug Collins, His Time in France, His Evolving Game and the Song 'Moves Like Jagger'>>>Lavoy Allen Has Breakout Performance, Wants His Piece of the Burger