Man, I can't even describe how much I love this basketball team.
It's the first team to make a conference finals appearance without an All-Star in more than 25 years. It went into the Knicks' train station "Mecca" and showed them how to actually play ball. Then, it went into Philadelphia and bounced the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference to end The Process.
And after the Hawks put the final nail in the coffin of Sam Hinkie's experiment, John Collins showed up to his postgame press conference wearing a custom t-shirt of him absolutely demolishing Joel Embiid in Game Six. What a damn legend.
And it's not just *that* he wore this shirt. It's the fact that after losing a heartbreaker at home in Game Six and having to go back to Philly, he was confident enough in himself and his teammates to have somebody make that shirt and then take it with him to put on after the Hawks advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals. I guess the worst-case scenario is he's out $30 and his t-shirt guy gets a little chuckle, but JC knew they were winning that game. There's something different about this team.
So now we head back to the ECF for the second time ever and this time, there's no LeBron waiting in the wings. Just us and some revenge against Coach Bud that's been a long time coming. Collins played his rookie season under Mike Budenholzer before Bud left to go to Milwaukee. Will JC have a shirt ready to go after he ends another man's career en route to the NBA Finals? I sure hope so.