Even though we are all acting like the lockout is over, it’s still technically going on because nothing has been signed yet. It’s kind of like when America became it’s own country and was living independently even though Thomas Jefferson hadn’t got all those guys to ratify the Declaration of Independence. Same thing and same importance.

Because the new CBA hasn’t been signed yet, coaches are still not allowed to talk basketball with their players. But Doug Collins, wily old vet that he is, found a way to circumvent those rules to connect with his young point guard, Jrue Holiday. From the Philadelphia News:

As Holiday spoke with reporters, coach Doug Collins entered the lobby of PCOM. Though basketball conversation is not allowed, brief greetings are. Collins abided by the rules, giving Holiday a hug and a brief hello, then headed back toward the offices. It was a simple, quick encounter, but spoke volumes as to how much the second-year coach is counting on the 21-year-old.

Awwwww, how sweet. Free hugs for all the Sixers, at least until the season starts and Collins starts designing extremely complicated but perfectly-crafted plays. That’s going to have to do, plus it’s better that way because it delays him getting fired after starting the season 0-18 and having the team cry in the locker room, which is something that happened to me in NBA 2K12 while playing as the 76ers so I assume it will happen in real life because that game is super realistic.

I can’t imagine this is too common with other coaches around the league. Outside of maybe Mark Jackson and Kevin McHale, there aren’t a lot of hugging kind of coaches. It’s hard to picture Frank Vogel hugging Darren Collison to tell him hello, let alone Stan Van Gundy doing the same with Chris Duhon.

In this shortened season, team chemistry is going to be very important, so the 76ers are lucky to have such a lovable, huggable kind of guy. I’m not sure if that’ll make up for the fact that they’re a flawed team that should be happy with a fifth seed in the Eastern Conference, but at least it’ll be a loving environment.