Bogdan Bogdanovic gets honest about John Collins' return after Hawks beat Jazz

Atlanta Hawks swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic spoke candidly about former teammate John Collins and more after the win over the Utah Jazz.
Atlanta Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic
Atlanta Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The Atlanta Hawks (26-32) notched a 124-97 victory over a wayward Utah Jazz squad.

Their defensive efforts were notable, regardless of the caliber of their opponent. But it was also the return of former Hawk John Collins to State Farm Arena since being traded last offseason.

The Hawks traded Collins to the Jazz for Rudy Gay and a second-round pick. He popped up in trade rumors ahead of the deadline. But his numbers are improved over his final season with the Hawks.

Unfortunately for Collins, he finished with five points on 2-for-8 shooting.

He was also 0-for-3 from beyond the arc, though he did manage to snag 10 rebounds and add two assists and one block against a depleted Hawks frontcourt.

“It's good to see our brate, for sure,” Bogdan Bogdanovic told reporters on February 27. “I know he wanted to perform better. But you can tell he was emotional. I saw on a on a screen he was saying, ‘I love you guys.’

“He's definitely missed and the fans definitely miss him that you can see uh how how they cheering back.”

Bogdanovic also talked about the lasting impact Collins’ energy has had.

“Honestly, I feel like we got so used to him, like his energy and some sayings that he was doing, that when he was gone, we talked about it. Whenever we see JC do something in Utah or whatever, we blow the whistle. He was doing that on the meetings usually or if we as a team don't understand something, or he doesn't understand, I think, he'll just be like [whistles].”

Hawks’ Bogdan Bogdanovic shifted his workout regimen

Bogdanovic finished the win over Utah with 19 points, three assists, three rebounds, two blocks, and two steals. He also logged his 32nd straight appearance and 56th appearance of the season.

That is more than he has had in two of his three previous seasons in a Hawks uniform. He has missed just two games this season after battling knee injuries the last couple of seasons.

“I'm trying, honestly. I know sometimes it looks bad. But I'm not as athletic, so I'm trying to creep up, and sneak, and use my length basically,” Bogdanovic said. “That block didn't look bad. Black didn't look bad, definitely.

“I don't know where to start. Should I start with shutting shouting out my summer coaches first?

“I've been really consistent with lifting this year. … I'm just trying to learn. And, definitely, NBA is different than Europe.

“First couple years in NBA I was working a lot on the floor, like moves and stuff. Once I got confident with my skill set over there, I just realized I just need strength and freshness. So I'm spending more time in the gym in the weight lifting room.”

Bogdan Bogdanovic ‘lied’ to Hawks rookie

Bogdanovic was asked about rookie Kobe Bufkin’s performance in the contest and made a candid revelation.

“I didn't get him ready last game. I told him … G League points are same,” Bogdanovic said. “But it's not, and I lied to him. I was just trying to give him some confidence because I saw the way he played over there.

“We needed him to be aggressive. 

“Tonight, I don't even know what I told him. I think I didn't even say nothing special. I was just letting him be him and acting like he's one of us.”

Bufkin went from two points, three assists, one block, one steal, and one rebound in his debut to seven points, five assists, two rebounds, and two steals in his second outing. He also went from 25% shooting to 42.9%.