John Collins of the Atlanta Hawks is in London this weekend for the NBA Crossover exhibition and spoke with the media about many things, including his team, his target ahead of the new season, his comparison with Amare Stoudemire and who his favourite player was.
Here is what the 20-year-old power forward said:
On Atlanta’s goal next season: “I honestly think whatever we do winning-wise it’s just to build the chemistry, because having a group of young guys and for those to build together and build solid bonds.
You don’t realise how beneficial it is on and off the court, for guys to actually like each other and go out there and know how to actually play together. For me at least, it’s getting the chemistry with my guys right, so when we go on the court and hoop we don’t have to worry about anything else. We all love each other.”
On whether the Hawks will be one of the teams to watch this season: “For sure, I think now with the addition of Trae [Young], Omari [Spellman], Kev [Huerter], myself, TP [Taurean Prince], all the young guys – D’Andre [Bembury], Tyler [Dorsey].
Having that young group of talent, especially that we prove ourselves on the collegiate level. And now you put us all together on a big stage, give us time to get the chemistry right, we are going to win some games.”
On his target ahead of the new season: “First thing I’ll try to do is put on some muscle, put on some strength. I think last year being at the four or five spot, you get pushed around a lot by these grown men, these stronger guys.
So, for me, I’m going to go in the weight room, put on some muscle, get my body right. Then the other one is shooting the three. If I can shoot the three on the court then I can stay on the court, because I can shoot. In today’s NBA, if you can shoot, you can stay on the court.”
On whether he would like to play in the NBA London Game at some point:“Obviously we have to win some games first before they give us the prime-time game, we’ve got to earn it. I would definitely love to play in London. I love being in London, to come here and show my stuff too would be dope.”
On being compared to Amare Stoudemire at points last season: “They are warranted, granted there are a lot of young guys with some bounce dunking on people, so I can see why people are saying I could be the next one. You never know what the future holds.
Hopefully I am the next Amare Stoudemire or even better than that dude, because that dude can really play basketball. We don’t know what the future holds, but the NBA is a whole different place than when Amare was playing. I don’t know, only one person knows.”
On who his favourite player was: “First one is Kobe. I think I got a little bit taller than Kobe. Once I knew I was going to be a little bit taller than Kobe that’s when I started watching the taller guys.
I shifted my attention over to KG [Kevin Garnett], Anthony Davis, Chris Bosh or Amare [Stoudemire]. But growing up, up until about my sophomore year in high school Kobe was always the dude. Once I got to 6”10 I thought I’m not going to be Kobe anymore.”
*NBA Crossover is located at Westfield London, Ariel Way Shepherds Bush, London, W12 7GF from August 10-12. To register to attend the free event and receive key information, fans can visit NBA.com/CrossoverLondon