Last year, NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin was in Dover, Delaware for a race when he popped up north to catch a Phils practice. There, he met Sixers head coach Doug Collins. The two hit it off. Hamlin spoke to the team before their matchup with Miami in the playoffs in 2011 (thanks for all the help, Hamlin) and says Collins texts him when he wins races. Basically, every famous person totally BFFs with every other famous person. Illuminati.
Doug Collins is really great, too. He let me come in last year (in 2011) and talk to his guys before the playoffs against Miami in the first round. He was so nice to us. He had me talk about my experiences in the Chase for the Sprint Cup in 2010 [when Hamlin finished second to Jimmie Johnson and narrowly missed capturing his first championship], and what I learned. He really wanted me to talk to the young guys about enjoying themselves and living in the moment and not worrying about the outcome. I was honored to be able to do that, and was very impressed with how he related to his players. I first met him when we were in Dover (Del.) for a race and I went up to a Phillies’ practice and met some players and Doug was there, too. He’s always texting me to congratulate me or offer encouragement, so he’s one of the biggest fans I’ve got in the NBA. So I also pull for him and the Sixers, as well as the Bobcats, my hometown team. [NBA]