Hawks' John Collins suspended 25 games for PEDs ahead of Kings game


Hawks' John Collins suspended 25 games for PEDs ahead of Kings game

The Hawks are getting one young rising star back in their lineup with the return of point guard Trae Young, but are losing another for the foreseeable future.

Hawks forward John Collins has been suspended 25 games for violating the NBA's Anti-Drug policy, the league announced Tuesday morning. Collins is being suspended for a Growth Hormone.

The news certainly is big for the Sacramento Kings, who play the Hawks on Friday at Golden 1 Center. 

Collins, 22, is averaging 17.0 points and 8.8 rebounds per game this season while shooting an eye-opening 47.4 percent from 3-point range. He averaged 19.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per game last year, his second season in the NBA. 

The former No. 19 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft has played the Kings just twice in his young career. Collins is averaging 14.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game against Sacramento. 

Collins told Wojnarowski he is working with the NBA Players' Association to begin an appeals process, and issued the following statement. 

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Atlanta is 2-3 this season and needs as many games with Collins on the court as possible. If his suspension is upheld, he also won't play against the Warriors on Dec. 2, the 16th game of his suspension.

With Collins suspended, former No. 2 overall draft pick Jabari Parker likely will step into the starting lineup. He's averaging 13.8 points and 3.8 rebounds off the bench for the Hawks.

Kings PA announcer Scott Moak shares his side of Kevin Durant incident

Kings PA announcer Scott Moak shares his side of Kevin Durant incident

Before the current global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, "Infection Control" had a completely different meaning in NBA.

Back on Jan. 5, 2019, when Kevin Durant was a member of the Warriors, the term was a topic of debate during a game against the Kings at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.

Durant sustained a cut on his left forearm, and as a team doctor was bandaging him up, Kings' in-arena PA announcer Scott Moak could be heard announcing "Timeout for infection control."

The look on Durant's face when he heard that was "What did he just say?" He immediately went over and talked to Moak.

Durant was asked about the incident after the game and said he had never heard the term "Infection control" before and stated that he had a good relationship with Moak.

On the latest episode of the Purple Talk podcast, Moak was asked about the encounter with Durant.

"So I, I don't know, for 10 years, would announce it that exact way, 'Timeout for infectious control,' and [the Kings' audio engineer] would play "Keep Bleeding" by Leona Lewis ... you know, he would have all these fun songs that he would play that would correspond with that moment," Moak told NBC Sports California's James Ham. "So, we did that, I said that and yeah, I looked over and I saw Kevin Durant give me the side-eye and walked over and asked me, 'What did you say?' and I told him and I said, 'Why? You don't like that?' And he goes, 'No, I don't like it.' And I was like, 'I don't control these things. I don't get to choose.' And he kind of laughed at that and walked back on the floor."

A few plays later, Moak had to use the term again, and that got a different reaction out of Durant.

"Ironically ... it wasn't but a couple plays, sequences later that De'Aaron [Fox] gets popped in the side of the face," Moak said. "He has blood either from him or someone else on his face. Same exact thing happened and I said the same exact thing. Kevin Durant was on the bench at the time. They had taken him out. He stands up and he gives me the point, like 'Yeah, buddy, alright, I see you. You do it both ways.' He thought I was ribbing him or something and I, of course, wasn't, but yes then it goes to where he says, 'Me and that guy have a great relationship,' which I got a lot of great comments about. I didn't realize I had a great relationship with Kevin Durant, but look, I will take it. I will take a great relationship with Kevin Durant and I hope he's doing better today and hope he's getting better obviously from a playability perspective.

Durant, of course, is no longer a member of the Warriors. He's in Brooklyn rehabbing from a surgically repaired right Achilles tendon.

[RELATED: Moak's thoughts on fanless NBA games]

On March 17, Durant revealed to The Athletic that he was one of four Nets players to test positive for the coronavirus, which is plaguing the world.

Moak also noted that he expects the NBA to change the name of the timeout in light of the recent pandemic.

Kings PA announcer Scott Moak gives thoughts on NBA games without fans

Kings PA announcer Scott Moak gives thoughts on NBA games without fans

The NBA is special in one respect compared to other sports. Due to the nature of the free-flowing action, momentum can change at any time. 

A big play in the NFL happens and then there is a break in the action. A pitcher can give up a home run and by the time the trot is over and a new batter is in the box, the crowd has sat back down and gotten back to their beer and nachos.

The NBA doesn’t have that luxury. The ball goes through the hoop and then it’s headed in the other direction with an eight-second clock to pass halfcourt and a 24-second shot clock driving the action. 

There are moments when the game takes short pauses, but there also are moments when a team hits a 3-pointer, gets a steal moments later for a breakaway dunk and then tops off an 8-0 run with another triple.

Once a team hits a burst like this and the crowd is into the action, the momentum of a game can shift and an 8-0 run can become a turning point in a game. 

Driving this action is a the public address announcer and the Kings have one of the best in the league in Scott Moak.

During the latest episode of the Purple Talk podcast, Moak was asked what it would be like to call a game with no fans in the building -- an option that has been floated due to the coronavirus pandemic -- and whether he would even be needed to help keep the game on track.

“I can make the case both ways, that if they do a fanless game, I guess making players aware of fouls and things,” Moak said of whether he would be needed. “It’s super weird to think ... and I don’t think I would go full-bore, ‘and now, let’s meet the starting five …,’ I think they’d go straight into the tip.”

Since taking over the job in 2002, Moak has been on the mic for plenty of incredible moments. He worked playoff games from 2002-2006, Tyreke Evans’ halfcourt buzzer-beater at Arco Arena and even a game where DeMarcus Cousins was thrown out and then summoned back from the locker room to score his 55th point of the night in a Kings win.

How would he handle sitting courtside alone without the power of 17,608 fans at his beck and call? 

“I would probably turn into more of a narrator/informer meets NPR,” Moak said. “I think I would have to go to more of my NPR voice than my announcer voice.”

This is a reality that the league may have to face if they hope to get the season back on track. The Warriors already had intended to play a game against the Brooklyn Nets without fans in the Chase Center before the league was paused due to the coronavirus outbreak, so the possibility is real.

Like most announcers, Moak started his career in much smaller venues. While it would be a difficult transition, he can draw from his former experiences to get through the change if it becomes necessary.

“I was announcing American River College women’s basketball in Beaver Stadium or whatever they called it, with 12 parents, a couple of trainers and the teams,” Moak recalled. “So I think I’ll kind of channel those experiences.”

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We have no idea when the NBA will return and what it will look like when it does, but the stoppage could change the way we experience a game, at least in the short-term. 

People like Moak are part of the fabric of the game who often go unnoticed. They add to the experience and, like everyone else, he can’t wait to get back to simpler times and the game he loves.