ORLANDO - Former 76er Tony Battie was calling the Sixers-Magic game for an Orlando-area radio station Sunday. It's a new role, after a 14-year career, including his last 2 with the Sixers.
"I've been doing a little analyst work down here," said Battie, who lives in Orlando. "Matt Guokas is sick so Rich Adubato is coming down from radio for TV and I'm going to be filling in for Richie on the radio."
Sixers coach Doug Collins said last season that he would love to have Battie on his coaching staff. Known as a great locker-room presence and a true professional in the game, Battie had other options coming into this season.
"I probably could have played somewhere else," he said. "I had a couple of bottom-feeders who wanted me to come in and bring some experience and locker-room leadership. But I decided to go out on my terms. It worked out and I'm finding my way through what I'm doing now."
Is coaching in his future?
"I'll stick with broadcasting for now and I'll keep coaching as a safety net if this thing doesn't work out, but broadcasting is something that I want to do.
"It's been fun, it really has. It's been challenging and it hasn't been easy, but I'm getting to see everything that goes on behind the scenes. I've watched the game from the [control] truck outside the arena at times and seen the switchboard and all the graphics and camera angles and what they're looking for. I had on the headsets with the producers. It's been a nice, eclectic look at everything. Just a lot of fun."
Doug Collins was struggling to get through Sunday night's game. He spent all day Saturday and most of Sunday in bed due to a respiratory infection.
He did manage to gleefully watch the Duke-North Carolina game on Saturday night from his hotel room. Of course, the game was won by Duke, where son Chris is an associate head coach.
Vucevic killing it
Last week former Sixer Nikola Vucevic pulled down 21 rebounds against the Heat in a game that almost ended Miami's lengthy winning streak. Vucevic grabbed 29 boards earlier in the season against Miami.
Add the Sixers to the growing list of teams Vucevic is killing on the glass. Sunday, in Orlando's 99-91 win, he hauled down 17, just two fewer than he had when the Magic defeated the Sixers late last month in Philly.
Of course, Vucevic was involved in the four-team trade that brought Andrew Bynum to the Sixers.
"Nick is playing great," Doug Collins said. "He's third in the league in double-doubles. One thing about Nick is he's very consistent and that's what you want in a player, basically knowing every night what you're going to get from him. I'm really proud of him. He's worked hard. If you charted him in college, every year he got better and he's going to continue to do that as an NBA player. The big thing is just staying healthy. He was playing great for us last season until he hurt his knee and I think it spooked him and it took him a little while to bounce back from that. He's very, very skilled and a good teammate."