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Friday, October 11th, 2013 at 10:45 am  |  59 responses

Openly Gay Jason Collins Wonders Why No NBA Team Has Signed Him


The NBA’s first openly gay player can’t find a job, and Jason Collins can’t quite figure it out. When he came out, Collins received almost universal support from around the L, but so far, no team has taken a chance on the free agent big man. Per the NY Times: “When Collins, 34, a 7-foot center, wrote his coming-out cover story for Sports Illustrated — ‘my declaration,’ he said — he proudly spoke of having been called a pro’s pro for his team-first, lunch-pail style. Never a star, he has nonetheless had a career spanning 12 years and 6 teams after four years at Stanford, where he played with his twin, Jarron. ‘That’s how I still consider myself,’ he said Wednesday in his first interview since N.B.A. training camps opened last month without his participation. ‘Sure, I’ve picked up another title. But I feel that’s always who I’m going to be — that person who sets a good example, who represents the sport and is an asset to my team and a role model for other players.’ The question Collins has to ponder is why he has not been signed as a free agent. Is it because he is at best a marginal player with modest career statistics (3.6 points and 3.8 rebounds a game) nearing the end of his career, one who would cost more than a younger player based on the league’s collectively bargained pay scale? Or is there something more sinister at work related to the new role he would play? Collins did not dismiss the latter notion or address it. ‘You don’t want to speculate — I don’t go there,’ he said while picking at a bowl of greens in a cafe in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles, near where he lives. But while conceding he would be at the lower end of a team’s depth chart at this stage of his career, he admitted being perplexed because, he said, ‘I feel there are players in the league right now that, quite frankly, I’m better than.’ As teams firmed up their rosters in late summer, Collins’s agent, Arn Tellem, received inquiries from at least three teams in the market for a reserve big man who understood positional defense. One of them, the Detroit Pistons, settled on Josh Harrellson, a third-year player who cost the Pistons more than $500,000 less than the nearly $1.4 million Collins would have earned — the minimum salary for a player with his experience. Several league executives said the number of teams interested in Collins had shrunk because of new penalties for teams exceeding the luxury tax threshold. [...] Collins acknowledged that signing younger players would be more prudent financially, but he asked how experience could be discounted in such a competitive sport.”

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  • Roddy

    zzzzzzzz

  • Dagger

    What a ridiculous story. Collins deliberately avoided the insinuation that this article is trying to put in his mouth. He insisted that he’s more talented than some NBA players; what basketball player wouldn’t say that if he’s out of work?

    I know “Collins thinks he didn’t get a roster spot because he’s gay” is an attention-grabbing suggestion, but there’s also something called journalistic integrity.

    And by the way: just because you’re gay doesn’t mean that’s automatically the most important aspect of your identity. Collins isn’t “openly gay Jason Collins.” He’s just “Jason Collins.”

  • pposse

    cosign

  • LLC#12

    The veterans minimum is often the players own worst enemy.

  • Pfunkadelic

    It has a lot to with the fact that HE CAN”T PLAY! Most teams have there quota of big sorry stiffs…its a numbers game..

  • AlbertBarr

    He may be better than some in the league, but he still isn’t very good.

  • bsomoney

    This whole “story” bothers me. This guy was never very good to begin with, and he clearly saw the end of his professional life coming as he was getting older, but not getting better.

    So he comes out publicly – fine, whatever. (Personally, I could care less if the guys is gay or not). Now because he’s still older, and still not good – or at best has reached his ceiling – hasn’t signed a contract. Its an easy crutch to now say he’s not been signed because he’s gay…

  • JML-G

    he came out the closet to revive his irrelevant career lil bit longer, but nobody catched the bite

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    the problem here is that he already was having trouble getting on a roster before he came out. now, unlike before, he has a platform to complain about not getting picked up. So whether intentional or not, the odd timing of his coming out, has created a sense that he expected that to extend his career. Whether he meant for that to happen or not, he made the situation the way it is.

  • shockexchange

    If Jason Collins is getting publicity for not getting a roster spot,
    imagine the bad publicity a team would get for (i) signing him and (ii)
    then later deciding to cut him. No team wants that type of negative
    publicity for a journeyman player.

  • Stepfan Raiford

    It has nothing to do with his sexual preference. Collins simply has nothing to contribute to a team except maybe using up fouls and a “veteran” presence in the looker room. I refuse to believe this man is being black balled from the league because he’s gay.

  • Guest

    Very well put.

  • Slick Ric

    Because you being in the league for 10+ years has been a miracle in itself.

  • Toner83

    We all know why, it’s because of what happened over the summer…..
    .
    ..

    NBA teams realised he wasn’t good.

  • anon

    This right here is a very mature and sophisticated analysis of the situation. Kudos to nbk for catching the subtleties.

  • keyon dooling

    Arn Tellem is one of the best in the biz. He knew what he was doing with the announcement as the 2012-13 season wound down.

  • Tavoris Sinclair

    didn’t need to read the article to know that last season was probably his last, even before the announcement.

    There isn’t much of a role for aging 7-footers who can’t guard the p&r anymore.

  • http://www.sneakertheater.com/ Sneaker Theater

    If any “minority” should be complaining about not being picked up by the NBA its american born white men.

  • LakeShow

    I was always surprised to see him suited up year after year.

    At 34 and never have been anything more than a solid back-up… there’s no place for you.

  • motherhumper

    If American born white men are good enough they’ll get the respect and contracts like Kevin Love. F*ck off with your sense of entitlement. You aren’t good enough so get over it.

  • C.M.G

    Lmao wow.

  • the_unknown

    because you’re gay…

  • Jase Mase

    If we’re gonna go that route then it has to be Asian men.

    Remember Jeremy Lin?

  • Daniel Noel

    end of story

  • Daniel Noel

    his brother, jared, was always better than him. I’m surprised he was still in a team last year. jared disappeared, never heard from him again after Utah

  • Daniel Noel

    who is he better than? i’d put my money on an injured greg oden over collins lol.

  • playa

    Because you’re a F#CKING TRASH Jason, that’s why.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    but does equal act hiring exist in sports? Most teams are not going to deliberately choose a player who will not benefit the team. Unless nepotism exists.

  • bike

    There is no way to know if his coming out is related to teams not picking him up but..lets face it…it could be a factor. If a GM suspects he has players on his roster that might not be mature enough to deal with a gay teammate, you really can’t blame him for taking a risk on a potential distraction for a marginal player at best. It may not be right but that’s reality.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    well the context of “equal act hiring” is totally different in sports than in the normal workplace. that’s why they have a CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement). in a sense, yes, hiring should not be weighed on irrelevant circumstances/differences. but with that being said, what is a relevant circumstance in some cases is different in sports.
    .
    and in case that came off as confusing. “Homosexual” is not a relevant circumstance. And it certainly is not why Jason Collins is a free agent.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Jason was very effective against Shaq and Dwight after him. Something Jared could never really say. Which is why his career lasted longer. If you notice his last true season was spent in Boston…which was their way of replacing Kendrick Perkins with someone to guard Dwight. Before that he was a fixture in Atlanta, who was used as their defense against Dwight (and other giants) a few times a year — Then Dwight went to LA, and poof, all of Jason Collins Eastern Conference job opportunities disappeared.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    i agree. its media sensationalizing this issue. Why has homosexuality become such a great topic in media. Like little kids transgendering in prom or homosexual marriages?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    uhm, how old were you in the 90s? if you remember that time media/tv wise, then you don’t have to ask me that question.

  • MackAtttack

    IMO he’s not playing for a team because most teams aren’t looking to sign 34-year old defensive centers with limited offensive ability nowadays. Then again, I could see the Spurs signing him eventually.

  • AlbertBarr

    Better than Hasheem Thabeet. Cheaper than Kendrick Perkins. IDK, he was the one who said he was better than some in the league. I am just saying that still isnt very good.

  • A. MOb

    It begins… I knew eventually Collins or some other people would say that he’s getting blackballed because of his sexual orientation. Collins, you’re not signed because you are 34 years old and a marginal player at best. You have almost nothing of value to add to a team.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    I’m young but what’s that got to do. I was here in early 2000/ nobody talked about gay rights really

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    It’s got everything to do with it. To be maybe a bit over the top honest, Homosexual went from something that was regularly joked about in TV and media to a very open and accepted part of life for a lot of people, it went from like an issue people joked about to a heavily supported social acceptance. You understand?

  • http://triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Its an interesting point and if we take a chunk out of the time line a little deeper back we can also see that a call for “marriage equality” is gaining ground… interesting times… against a fading backdrop of moral values and decline of sorts; of a freedom of difference…. this is certainly not a forum to go any further.

    Lets just say Collins wants to keep playing bball but the CBA values his contract higher than a team would for a little more than a basket and a couple of boards a game…. and the writer of this article is almost slandering here…

  • http://triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    The veterans minimum is wayyy over the owners maximum.

  • King David

    cuz he sucks, literally lmao !

  • grgeblck

    Skills dude, nothing personal.

  • grgeblck

    you are unknown…

  • grgeblck

    Same goes to Jase Mase’s comment. Let’s not get the racial comments started.

  • Bruce Wayne

    So now everything that happens in his career has to do with him being gay? Like many people have already said, he doesn’t bring much to a team. If he was an all-star talent then this would be a valid issue..

  • Flash

    Really? Lets keep it real here. Do you really want a gay person on your basketball team? It would be a distraction. Most people deny it won’t, but truth is it will always be on the back of everybodys mind.

  • Juan Wiener

    Because you SUCK…….at basketball

  • jufu

    well see there’s the fact that he’s not really good. like at all.

  • OneStep

    The fact that he hasn’t got a job is simply because he is not very good and has no up-side. He’s not going to be getting any better or supply significant minutes to any team. All he’s offered for a while now is 6 fouls per game. Any team would choose a younger player of similar ability who has a chance of improving or a veteran who has far better skills. The only way back into the game for him will be through coaching at best.

  • MasterSplinter

    Well put Dagger, and nbk.

  • MasterSplinter

    Caught the bite….sorry, I normally wouldn’t do that…….but say that out loud to yourself…..”catched the bite.” You still got a lot of likes dispite. I do agree however though, and it’s borderline pathetic that somebody gave him that advice, and he decided to roll with it…..He chose the wrong path for sure though. There is nothing wrong with him being gay, but him feeling entitled to something because he is gay goes against what he is representing…. It’s ridiculous. It’s just about as dumb as race, and the hypocrisy that comes with that. Weak people love to find any way they can better their circumstance by playing the victim. It is true…and any person that disagrees needs to understand that they are naive.

  • BostonBaller

    Stats and money would be why I didn’t pick him up. Why pay that amount for the productivity when you can get a youngster who “might” equal or surpass those numbers for a third the cost

  • tums

    Why are talking to him? He didn’t start it.

  • thebossman15

    despite*

  • grgeblck

    he didn’t, but he furthered it.

  • tums

    He didn’t further it, he addressed it appropriately. If you took offense it’s because you have issues of your own. You aren’t some moderator on here, so find another site if you think you can tell people how to respond to asshat comments here.

  • grgeblck

    let me know which site, thanks.

  • Reyngout

    Dude is done in the league. If he were a superstar, he would more than likely be on a team. For an aging mediocre player, NO team is going to take that distraction on. Nobody should be so publicly celebrated because of their sexual preference. It just isn’t relevant to the game.

  • deepeem

    Oh so he HAS to get put on a team because he is gay? queer ass affirmative action. He is a bad player. period.

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