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Yesterday was the 150th day since the Atlanta Hawks last played a game. It also marked the start of the 2022-23 campaign with the annual tradition of NBA Media Day.

There is no doubt that Hawks fans have plenty of reasons to be excited about the upcoming season. However, there was an elephant in the room due to the dramatic trade rumors that dogged John Collins for the better part of two years. 

General manager Landry Fields, head coach Nate McMillan, and Collins were asked numerous times about the rumors. It appears Atlanta's front office and Collins are ready to put the trade rumors behind them and focus on the upcoming season.

Collins spent his 25th birthday with a team that sometimes made him feel unwanted. But the Hawks made every attempt at showing love to their 2017 draft pick, including singing happy birthday and presenting a cake that trolled Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid.

Fields answered one of the first questions of the day by bragging on Collins for his professionalism and play. “We’ve had open communications with John, and he’s always remained professional. I just had a talk with him the other day and said you’re still here for a reason.”

McMillan echoed Fields' sentiment about the way Collins handled trade rumors. Additionally, McMillan recounted a story he shared with Collins about the trade rumors he dealt with during his playing days with the Seattle Supersonics.

John Collins poses for a photo.

John Collins poses for a picture at 2022 NBA Media Day.

The relationship between Collins and his coach is stronger than ever. Collins said of McMillan, "I trust that he knows exactly what I'm going through." Both have been in the NBA long enough to know it is a tough business.

Collins grew up as a military brat and is never shaken by the thought of relocation. When asked about his mindset, Collins harkened back to the lessons taught to him by his mother, Lyria Rissing-Collins, a 22-year USAF veteran. Never be selfish, do not let it affect your performance. 

The Hawks are going through their first practice as we speak. The team has no choice but to move past last year's disappointing season and this summer's drama. As always, fans can count on the Hawks and their electrifying power forward to handle their business on and off the court.

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