By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
Collins played his last game with the Portland Trail Blazers on August 15, 2020, and has since undergone two surgeries on his left foot. He arrived at San Antonio this past offseason and has since been working towards his recovery.
“It’s surreal,” Collins told reporters his season debut. “I brought my parents out here. I made them come out here for my first game. I just kept talking about it. It’s crazy that we’re here. A year and some change ago, I was dealing with that second surgery in (Las) Vegas away from Portland and now we’re here and all that’s behind me. It’s just a crazy feeling. I’m super happy.”
Collins scored 10 points, along with 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals in 13 minutes on the court to help the Spurs snap back from a three-game skid.
“I was hitting (every emotion),” Collins added. “Nervous, anxious, excited. I tried to calm myself down, but I couldn’t. Usually, when I’m nervous, I get out there and start playing, I’m fine, but definitely, in that first half I still had those emotions. I was a little bit nervous, and I was a little bit shocked to be back in an NBA game.”
Collins was selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings and got traded to Portland shortly after. He has been sidelined long-term on-and-off since November 2019, due to recurring foot injuries that required surgeries.
Photo credit: Getty Images