Good News! The Sixers Are Worth Watching Again!

Bad news: It’s not always because of the basketball

Last Friday night, the Sixers lost, abysmally, to the Atlanta Hawks. I enjoyed watching the game on TV, though — not because of how the Sixers let the lead slip away, but because of the extraordinarily lovely ensemble in which coach Doug Collins was clad: a gorgeously fitted olive-green-and-orange windowpane-plaid jacket, a stark white shirt, and a green-and-gold oversize-paisley tie. I was actually impatient when the camera cut away to the game; I wanted to linger longer over the way those luxe woolens draped so divinely over Collins’s frame. He made Atlanta coach Larry Drew, himself a sharp-dressed man, look downright dowdy in his monochrome gray suit and paler gray tie. [SIGNUP]

I’m not sure where a baller from Christopher, Ohio, picks up such an unerring fashion sense — maybe it was while in Munich for the 1972 Olympics? But for those who enjoy elegance, Collins is a must-see. He followed up the paisley-and-windowpane feast on Friday with Saturday’s charcoal-gray suit and a crisp pale blue shirt, accented with the most fascinating color-changing, diamond-patterned red, blue and silver tie. It’s hard to believe the team wasn’t distracted in timeouts by the Christmas-tree-light shimmer, but apparently the guys found it inspiring; they pulled off a 109-91 drubbing of the Charlotte Bobcats. Contrasting suave Collins with Larry Brown, tieless and barely inhabiting a rumpled black suit, was almost more fun than the win.

Okay, sure, it’s easier to look sleek and chic when you’re six-foot-six and skinny than when you’re five-nine and normal; that’s why high-fashion models are always so leggy. But Collins—or whoever’s picking his outfits (is that you, Kathy?)—is setting a new and very high sartorial bar for local coaching staffs. (And we once thought Jay Wright looked good!) Granted, Charlie Manuel has to wear a uniform. And Andy Reid … well. Yeah. Andy Reid. But the rest of you guys? Get the number of Collins’s tailor, pronto. And find out if that paisley tie comes in any other shades.