John N. Mitchell, Inquirer Staff Writer
On more than one occasion, 76ers coach Doug Collins has said that backup guard-forward Damien Wilkins will make an excellent coach in the NBA.
That's exactly what Wilkins wants to do when his playing career ends.
"I don't want to have a transition period when my career is over," said Wilkins, in his ninth NBA season. "I just want to go right into coaching. I have always felt that I have something to offer people. I love talking the game and learning the game from other people."
When the Seattle SuperSonics - now the Oklahoma City Thunder - drafted Kevin Durant, Durant picked Wilkins' brain all the time, Wilkins said, just as he had picked the brains of veterans Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis when he came into the league.
"I used to just talk basketball with Kevin and Russell [Westbrook] after Oklahoma City drafted him," Wilkins said. "I always felt like I was reaching those guys. That's a good feeling."
However, there is one other reason Wilkins doesn't want any idle time when his days as a player are through.
"I really don't ever want to get fat," Wilkins laughed. "I'm afraid of sitting around and getting out of shape."