John Collins thinks there’s something great with the Utah Jazz.
The Utah Jazz may not look great with John Collins in the lineup so far this preseason, but that’s what happens when you integrate a new player into a system and then throw them out there with little time to get ready. Preseason basketball is like any preseason in pro sports; nothing to really write home about. There are elements that will give you an idea of what to expect, but largely, the team needs time to find a rhythm.
And a rhythm the Jazz will find. This team is too talented to let a turnover-heavy start to the preseason dictate how the season goes. And Collins seems to agree. The former member of the Atlanta Hawks arrived in Salt Lake City this offseason with big expectations for himself and for the team.
Speaking to the Desert News, Collins was very complimentary of the Jazz but not so much of his past team, the Atlant Hawks. As a member of the team, he was in his fair share of trade rumors, something that affected him;
It definitely didn’t help. It made me think that I was doing something wrong. A little lost. I thought I’d been doing things right, leading in my way, helping in the community, being a part of the team and impacting things. Even through everything, especially with the contract I was able to earn, I thought I was moving toward something longstanding.
And despite Collins doing all that he could both in and around Atlanta, it wasn’t enough, and it was something that opened up Collins’ eyes to some things.
What I’ve come to figure out in this league is that once you’re not in the plans, you’re not in them. And anything can happen once you figure out that you’re not part of the plan moving forward. That was how my cards were laid out and I don’t know why, or what I did, but it wasn’t fun.
And that wasn’t all. Collins sees that the Utah Jazz, despite being loaded with talent, is a unique beast. A team that wants to work together, and it’s something he’s happy to be a part of; an ego-less locker room.
To be successful in this league, you’ve got to think about yourself in a certain way. But here, there’s that essence of wanting to win together, regardless of how good anyone is individually. It’s refreshing to be in a locker room with a lack of ego and I’m happy to be part of…
And it’s here that we found out just what Collins thinks of the Jazz as a whole, a team capable of something truly great;
“This isn’t just a fresh start. It can be more than that. It can be the start of something greater.
And he may be right. While a young team (Collins is one of the veterans already), the Jazz are a team that is on the verge of genuine competition. If Collins can return to his early form with the Hawks, while playing alongside Lauri Markkanen, then the Jazz would have two All-Star caliber forwards. That would make the Jazz a real threat.
If they can lock down the point guard position with a player who doesn’t turn the ball over much, then this is a team that can do great things. The upside for the Utah Jazz is there, they just have to turn the potential into prosperity.