John Collins Talks Kobe Bryant, Donovan Mitchell, Vince Carter, More in B/R AMA

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2020

Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (20) reacts during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Friday, March 6, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins was enjoying a career season before the NBA suspended its season because of concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. 

The 2017 first-round pick averaged 21.6 points, 10.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks a night in 41 games and was a double-double threat every time he stepped on the floor. He is also a major reason the future looks bright in Atlanta, as he and guard Trae Young can anchor the attack as a one-two punch for years to come. 

With the season on hiatus, Collins sat down for a Bleacher Report AMA and answered questions on a number of topics, including Young, Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter.


@JCTheLit: What's it like playing with the living legend Vince Carter?

It's amazing, man. Or it has been amazing. Hopefully, we can bring back the season and we can end it in the correct way. He's helped me so much when it comes to my shooting stroke...just the ability to work with me puts me in a great spot for the rest of my life.


@ForRudy 27: Hey man, you have a favorite fellow young star to play against?

Probably has to be Don Mitchell. He was one of my buddies in the pre-draft and we've continued a pretty solid relationship since then. That's my guy. Hopefully, he's healthy.


@jl2626: Favorite shoe?

My favorite pair on the court: any of the Dame Lillard shoes, I'm an Adidas guy. Off the court, I'm a Yeezy guy. Big Pharrell fan too.


@myousif: What do you think your most underrated stat in 2K is?

I play 2K a ton. I don't know if there's an underrated stat. I'd say my mid-range shot...I'll be surprised sometimes and I shoot and it's easy money. I think my three-point rating might've gone up a couple of notches.


@sorenn: Who wins in a 1 v 1 between you and Trae?

Me. I gotta go right to the post. Wait until he misses, and he'll probably put a dribble in there...but that's my goal. Post up.


@meliegreenbaum: Who should've won the dunk contest this year?

Man...I think there was a little home cooking there for DJ. Shouts to D-Wade.


@_5williams5: What other star would you like to play with? Playing now or retired

Bean. Shout out to Bean. Have a Fathead of him in my room right now.

We had to play the day he passed...I found out in the locker room, we all found out together on our phone. That was the toughest game I ever had to play.


@meliegreenbaum: Hey what's up John! Which team do you love to beat the most?

The Sixers and the Heat. Sixers because Pierce used to coach for them, so it's intense. And then Miami, whenever I'm back home I like to put on a show for mom.


@mikeyoung345: Who's the best nba player all time?

Jordan. And the reason for me is he won three, took about two off...if you come back and win three more, that's to me what separates Jordan a little bit. He could've potentially had 8-straight, you know what I mean? He would've had 7, at least won one of the years. He's six for six. I say Jordan.


@gninow: What's the most expensive thing you've bought since you've gotten into the league?

My house. And my car, a Range Rover. Think that was definitely the most expensive thing.


@JackPail: Hey John! Atlanta kid here! If you can dunk on one NBA player, who would it be??

Joel Embiid. We've had back and forth. I don't want to get too into it...but he knows, too. Every time he sees me he says, bro you're not getting me.


@sebas20: Favorite player growing up?

Bean, for sure. Close second I give it to T-Mac or AI.


@jl2626: Favorite March Madness moment?

I gotta go with mine, right? That first four in...we beat Louisville, D-Mitchell. And they were actually like No. 6 in the country at the time...I honestly like that win better than the loss in the tournament. Just making the tournament, seeing the energy, it was amazing.


@J27LA: Who's the greatest rapper in your opinion?

I say overall, Jay-Z. Personally, Rick Ross


@Bizzz: Who was your favorite NBA team growing up?

Heat...but I was such a Kobe fan I considered myself a Lakers fan. I watched every game, was so locked into them.


@AndrewCib: Does Trae really think his hair is good?

Damn right he does! What else is he supposed to do?


@miljawn: What's the strangest in-game interaction you had with a player you don't know?

In HS, there was a kid who, the play didn't start, it was a dead ball and he just stepped in. I don't know if this was the coach's tactic, but this random kid just comes in and starts boxing me out. It's a dead ball. The ball is not in bounds and he's boxing me out, pushing me. The third time, he looks over at the bench and does it harder. I don't know if the coach was trying to get me to fight him, but I didn't know what the hell was going on.


@carteratwater: How is it with Clint on your team?

Locker room wise, he's super cool and super chill. We haven't done much basketball stuff yet, that'll be determined. But he's an older guy, so always trying to learn some knowledge.


@BostonDynasty524: Outside of Hawks gear, what's the best NBA jersey ever?

Not gonna lie, I think the Heat might've made the case, the Vice ones. The blue ones? I love that. But all-time, I say...gotta go with the old-time Raptors jerseys. Those are fire. And the Vancouver ones, those are hard. Whatever you call that, nobody's done that since.


@mecrow2: What made you decide to go to Wake Forest?

Coach Manning and the ACC. He definitely had a resume...and I was in the best conference in America.


@RYGUY24: If you were a GM who would you want to take in the upcoming draft?

I gotta go Anthony Edwards, he looks the most pro-ready. Strong, can create his shot, athletic as well. He has a dog in him. I like it.           


Collins, 22, is a key building block for a Hawks team focused on the future.

Atlanta hasn't made the playoffs since the 2016-17 campaign, but that figures to change in the coming seasons if Collins and Young continue making strides into their primes.


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