DOUG COLLINS, age 61, is an analog coach in a digital league, an association of players who best communicate in binary.
Jrue Holiday is one such player, as Collins quickly discovered.
In 2011, as the Sixers entered their first-round playoff series against the Heat, perhaps the league's best defensive team and easily its highest-profile squad.
Collins realized the Sixers' only hope lay in productive possessions. He also realized that his 20-year-old point guard would have to play as many as 40 minutes every night.
Thanks to creative eavesdropping, he knew the latest tech toy might motivate Holiday.
"Make you a deal, Jrue," said Collins the day before the series began. "No turnovers tomorrow night, I'll buy you that new iPad."
The Sixers hung within a point until the final 2 minutes. Holiday had 19 points, five assists, five rebounds, three steals . . . and zero turnovers.
And, the next day, one new iPad 2. "I love gadgets," Holiday said. "I still have that one."
Collins found his connection with Holiday. The team and the town are the better for it.