The Atlanta Hawks gathered for their annual media day earlier this week. As every player on the roster geared up for media availabilities, photo, and video shoots, the Hawks felt it would be a perfect time to celebrate the team’s standout, John Collins, as he turned 25 years old.
Collins’ teammates bought him a cake on Friday. When he received the Hawks-themed cake, Collins quickly realized that the top of the cake featured one of his best NBA moments; a poster dunk on one of the NBA’s most dominant centers, Joel Embiid.
Ever since Collins joined the NBA in 2017 after getting selected 19th overall by the Hawks, he fired up a bit of a rivalry against the Philadelphia 76ers center. Throughout the years, the two have traded poster dunks on each other and even got vocal against one another beyond the basketball court on social media.
In 2021, Collins really added fuel to the fire when the Hawks and the Sixers battled it out against one another in the playoffs. Atlanta and Philly engaged in a tight series that featured several comebacks after significant leads.
After six games, the two needed a seventh to settle the winner. Following a Hawks victory in South Philly that ended the 76ers’ season, Collins donned a shirt that featured a picture of himself posterizing Embiid, similar to his birthday cake on Friday.
Embiid didn’t react to Collins’ latest dig this week, but the 76ers’ social media team responded using a recent viral clip of their star guard, James Harden.
Last month, Harden celebrated his 33rd birthday by having a private part on a yacht. When the ten-time All-Star was issued his cake from friends, Harden tossed it out the window of the ship.
The Sixers wished Collins a happy birthday — but made it clear they’d like to throw the cake in the ocean as the Hawks took another opportunity to throw shade at the league’s MVP runner-up.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for All76ers, a Sports Illustrated channel. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.