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Hawks center John Collins speaks out on the emotions surrounding his 25-game suspension

John Collins, Hawks

John Collins is slated to return from a 25-game suspension due to consuming a banned substance, returning to the Atlanta Hawks lineup after missing nearly two months of action.

The third-year forward expressed his heartfelt emotion following the league’s decision to suspend him, along with the consequences that stemmed from it.

“I feel like the biggest emotion was disappointment,” said a succinct Collins, according to Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “All this work in the summer, all this work with the team, trying to build and get chemistry. It hurts, man. It really does.”

Collins has the chance to mend his season, but the Hawks are 6-24 and perhaps in too deep a hole to salvage many positives besides player development — with many of their playoff hopes gone by the wayside at this point.

The Hawks have struggled to click collectively, mainly navigating this 2019-20 season through the shoulders of second-year phenom Trae Young.

The best possible outcome for Collins is for him to develop into a nightly 20-10 bet, something he was close to approaching in his second season, averaging 19.5 points and 9.8 rebounds through 61 games. If he can remain committed to improving his outside shooting (47.4% through five games) and to defending, the Hawks might just let go of their disappointment and be encouraged by his progress.

Young and Collins are the pillars of this new wave of Hawks players, along with rookie DeAndre Hunter — if the three develop this season, Atlanta might just have something to salvage, along with a high lottery pick at the end of this season.