Sixers' Collins to visit Brand

"I want Elton to feel the love of the game again," Doug Collins said of Elton Brand. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)

Doug Collins and 76ers assistant coach Quin Snyder are expecting to visit with Sixers power forward Elton Brand sometime in the next several days.

Previous attempts to meet with Brand were canceled because of scheduling situations.

"I want Elton to feel the love of the game again," Collins said yesterday from San Diego, where he maintains a residence. "He doesn't have to be an All-Star, but he can be a winning player. He can do that."

Brand, a two-time All-Star, has spent the last two seasons with the Sixers while still rehabbing from Achilles' tendon surgery and shoulder surgery. Snyder, a former Duke star, was involved in the recruiting of Brand to the Blue Devils.

"I know from personal experience what injuries can do to you," said Collins, whose own career was cut short after 8 years because of a variety of foot and knee problems. "Sometimes, even if you play well, you're thinking about what you might feel like the next morning. That's just human nature."

Collins has had his staff fanning out to visit with players and check their training and workout progress: Michael Curry with Lou Williams and Jodie Meeks in Georgia; Brian James with first-round draft pick Evan Turner in Columbus, Ohio; Snyder with Spencer Hawes; and Aaron Mc-Kie with various players in Philadelphia.

Collins and Curry watched Marreese Speights work out last week in Las Vegas.

"I told him what a talent he is, and that how he does the next couple of seasons could chart his career," Collins said.

Collins seemed unconcerned with Turner's struggles in the Orlando summer league.

"He was part of a group of guys who expected to go high in the draft and were told to stay away from contact drills and avoid getting hurt until after it was over," the coach said. "I'm guessing it was probably 90 days from Evan's last game at Ohio State to the league in Orlando. But those 8 days showed him what kind of condition he has to be in to compete [in the NBA]. I don't want him to be frustrated, but if he was, that could be a good thing because it was a great growth experience."


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