John Collins partly playing through pain to be like his favorite player, Kobe Bryant

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Before the start of the 2019 season, Bryant held a camp at his Mamba Sports Academy in Southern California for a select group of NBA players. John Collins was one of 18 players who received an invitation to work out with Bryant — something he’ll never forget. The Lakers great’s mindset still fuels him today. “That’s my favorite player, and I’ve always wanted to be great like him,” Collins said of Bryant. “Sometimes you have to play through pain to get to the glory, which is what he did. That’s where I’m at. I always want to do the best I can for my team.
Source: Chris Kirschner @ The Athletic

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Kevin Chouinard @KLChouinard
Nate McMillan said that John Collins came out of the first two games without any setbacks. – 5:18 PM

Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat
Heat’s Tyler Herro getting pushed around in playoffs, just as he expected. sun-sentinel.com/sports/miami-h… Also: Trae Young on Spoelstra; John Collins’ painful problem; Sedano sidelined. – 12:25 PM

Kevin Chouinard @KLChouinard
John Collins getting up shots pic.twitter.com/AspbrkIVBb10:51 AM

Chris Kirschner @ChrisKirschner
John Collins received a PRP shot in his foot. The ligament in his knuckle is torn. He’s playing through “pretty bad” pain. He pushes on. This is who he is at his core.
“Sometimes you have to play through pain to get to the glory”
On John’s toughness ⬇️
theathletic.com/3264196/2022/0…10:16 AM

Kevin Chouinard @KLChouinard
John Collins, on starting but at the 5 instead of the 4.
“It changes a little bit, right? There’s a little bit more pressure to box out and rebound. But in terms of just playing my game and being a leader and being vocal, it’s mostly the same. (1/2) – 1:47 PM

Nick DePaula @NickDePaula
Bucks’ #NBAPlayoffs kicks for Game 2:
• Jrue in a new GT Cut PE
• Giannis in the Freak 1
Jevon Carter in mis-matched GT Cuts
• Khris in his Kobe 6 PE pic.twitter.com/JzmkJPgpOg11:55 PM

Nick DePaula @NickDePaula
DeMar DeRozan catches fire in the Kobe 9 “Fade to Black” 🐍 pic.twitter.com/9PYejwgzQY11:47 PM

Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat
Five Degrees of Heat from Tuesday night’s 115-105 victory over the Hawks:sun-sentinel.com/sports/miami-h…
1. Enough at the close to get it done.
2. Jimmy Butler as good as it gets.
3. Bam Adebayo again limited.
4. More from Trae Young, but not enough.
5. Hawks add John Collins to mix. – 8:20 AM

Law Murray @LawMurrayTheNU
Players to have 40+ points, 2 steals, no turnovers in a playoff game
– Jimmy Butler tonight
Jalen Brunson last night
Chris Paul in Game 6 at LAC WCF
– Jason Richardson in 2010
– Kobe Bryant in 2004
– Michael Jordan in 1998 – 1:34 AM

Mark Giannotto @mgiannotto
D’Angelo Russell ain’t been schooled like that since he played with Kobe. Ja Morant and the Grizzlies are putting on a show to start this 3rd quarter. – 10:18 PM

Sarah K. Spencer @sarah_k_spence
Hawks put up a better fight, with Bogi giving it his all, but fall to 0-2 in the series with a 115-105 loss to the Heat in Game 2.
Game 3 will be FRIDAY in Atlanta.
Bogi: 29 pts, 3 ast, 4 reb
Trae Young: 25 pts, 7 ast, 6 reb, 10 TO
John Collins: 13 pts, 10 reb, 2 ast – 10:10 PM

Dave McMenamin @mcten
Atlanta’s first half adjustments – from putting John Collins in the starting lineup, to De’Andre Hunter’s aggression, to Trae Young opening up his midrange game, to the Hawks’ perimeter pressure on defense – all made a difference, but Miami still goes into the break up 56-54 – 8:42 PM

Sarah K. Spencer @sarah_k_spence
HALFTIME: Heat 56, Hawks 54
Much better showing from Trae Young even if 3-point shot isn’t falling yet: 18 pts (1-7 from 3), 3 ast, 3 reb
John Collins battling through injury: 5 pts, 7 reb
De’Andre Hunter playing with intensity: 11 pts, 2 reb – 8:42 PM

Joe Vardon @joevardon
OK. The Hawks are doing a few things, from starting John Collins to being a little more comfortable playing without the ball in Trae Young’s hands. He leads all scorers with 10 pts and through Q1, it’s the Heat 26, ATL 25. – 8:05 PM

Sarah K. Spencer @sarah_k_spence
You can tell John Collins is not 100%, but he’s definitely moving better than in Game 1. More active and looks a bit more comfortable out there.
He’s got 3 points, 4 rebounds an assist and a steal in seven minutes. – 7:52 PM

John Hollinger @johnhollinger
Feel like there’s been a few times now where John Collins has had trouble with contested catches, such as that last ATO for him. With his finger being the size of a hammer right now it’s something to watch. – 7:43 PM

Anthony Chiang @Anthony_Chiang
John Collins starting for the Hawks tonight. – 7:17 PM

Sarah K. Spencer @sarah_k_spence
Hawks starters in Game 2 vs. Heat:
Trae Young
Kevin Huerter
De’Andre Hunter
Danilo Gallinari
John Collins! – 7:11 PM

Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat
Hawks going smaller, with Collins in middle.
Atlanta starters:
Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, De’Andre Hunter, Danilo Gallinari, John Collins. – 7:07 PM

Chris Kirschner @ChrisKirschner
Hawks starters vs. Heat
Trae Young
Kevin Huerter
De’Andre Hunter
Danilo Gallinari
John Collins – 7:07 PM

Sarah K. Spencer @sarah_k_spence
Some video of John Collins and Trae Young warming up (wait for the Collins dunk at the end) pic.twitter.com/gPGFEGuBvd6:14 PM

More on this storyline

John Collins is still dealing with the effects of right foot and right ring finger injuries that sidelined him for 23 of the final 27 games of the regular season. He said his foot is “definitely more dull than what I’m used to,” but the pain is more manageable because life as a basketball player always includes battling some lower-body soreness. Collins said he received a PRP injection in his foot to speed up the recovery process. The benefits of a PRP injection are sometimes not seen for weeks or months, if it works at all, but taking the shot comes with minimal risk, so that’s why NBA training staffs usually start with that therapy to improve the healing process. -via The Athletic / April 22, 2022

“I’m supposed to have a splint on it at all times and keep my hand as straight as possible,” Collins said. “That’s the dilemma I have, because how are you supposed to play basketball with a straight finger? You can’t. If this was my left hand, it wouldn’t be an issue. Last season, I really screwed up my (middle) finger on my left hand. I didn’t say much because I could play through it. But this is my right hand, my shooting hand, the hand I use to grab rebounds — I do everything with this hand. It changes how I think, not necessarily how I play, but I just have to be more cautious with my finger. “It changes how I fall, because I don’t want to put pressure on my finger. Gripping the rim on dunks is a challenge. I can’t do too much, but I feel like I can do enough to be helpful. It’s hard to get my touch on certain shots to get that instinctual feel because something is there that normally isn’t there. I’m trying to play through something I’m not used to playing with, and I have to do it at the highest level of basketball. It’s tough, and I’m trying to figure it out.” -via The Athletic / April 22, 2022

“The one thing that has continued to motivate me was we had a film session after we worked out with all of the guys. Kobe pulled a clip up of me. He called me a modern-day stretch four … and used a clip of me popping and knocking down a trey ball. He said my name, and that shit motivated me like no other. Not to say that Kobe didn’t know who I was, but the fact that he was using me as an example of a modern-day player and what they do, that gave me so much satisfaction to know that … my favorite player ever likes my game, understands it and can analyze my game. It was simply amazing. I just wanted to be better after that. Kobe called me a modern-day stretch four, and I’ll never forget that shit. It motivated me to keep working harder no matter what.” -via The Athletic / April 22, 2022