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Friday, February 21st, 2014 at 10:40 am  |  25 responses

Brooklyn Nets Consider Signing Jason Collins

Free agent big man Jason Collins, 35, could soon ink a deal with the Brooklyn Nets, which would make him the NBA’s first openly gay (active) player. Per the NY Post:

Nets general manager Billy King confirmed Thursday afternoon the Nets have worked out free agent center Jason Collins, and he could potentially be signed by the team to fill its need for a reliable defensive presence in the paint.

“We’re going to look at anybody that’s a free agent that’s big that’s out there,” King said on a conference call with reporters following Thursday’s trade deadline. “We’re going to look at anybody that’s in the D-League that’s big, we’re going to look at anybody coming back from China. We’ll explore all of them.

“Jason Collins is a free agent and he’s out there, so obviously he’ll be included in the list.”

Collins, who famously came out in an article in Sports Illustrated last (April) and would be the first openly gay athlete to compete in one the four major professional American sports, hasn’t been signed by anyone this season, and has been staying in shape in California, where the Nets worked him out recently.

But King said if the Nets choose to sign Collins, who also is reportedly drawing interest from the Clippers, it wouldn’t be for the publicity or marketing potential that would come with such a decision. It would instead hinge on whether Collins would be able to help them on the court.

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  • Dfrance

    I mean come on, when was the last time Jason Collins helped a team? He’s not in the NBA right now for a reason, and its not his sexual preference. He just flat out stinks.

  • King David

    #NoHomo

  • LLC#12

    “Jason Collins is a free agent and he’s out there”

    Pun intended?

  • King David

    i know right he friggin sucks ! (pun intended)

  • GP

    He’s a solid backup big man. Sucks overall, yes, but would be good for some interior help and fouls come playoff time.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Agreed. He is an over-the-hill journeyman who hasn’t averaged more than 3ppg in almost 10 years.

    I long for the day that being gay in sports no longer warrants a huge press conference with all of the bells and whistles followed by 12 months of non-stop media coverage.

  • bike

    Agree. If it’s not supposed to be a big deal, why is it a big deal?

  • DJ_BobbyPeru

    True. His brother is straight, plays exactly like him, and is out of the league. Him being gay has nothing to with it. All those sportwriters who implied that were just looking for something controversial to write.

  • Dfrance

    It’s a big deal because everyone makes it a big deal, gay people included. They say they wanted to be treated the same, but I can’t remember the last time a straight player held a press conference to say he’s attracted to women.

    If you’re a gay player, and you’re comfortable being out of the closet, just live your life. When the press see’s you out with your lover, expect them to snap photos, the same way they snap photos at Wade and Gabby. When a reporter asks if you’re gay say “yes” and move on.

    Eventually it will no longer be a big deal if these exact steps are followed.

  • bringbackthesonics

    i wonder if mikhail approves

  • Tuomas Uotila

    The obvious has been stated, him being out of the league has nothing to with his sexual preferences. However, this caught my eye: “has been staying in shape in California”.

    Pardon me, but Jason Collins was always “a” shape, never “in” shape. The guy whose rebounding made Eddy Curry look like Wilt Chamberlain.

  • bike

    I thought the same thing when the whole Michael Sam blew up a week or so ago. Why say anything to anyone? Why have the whole media world scrutinize your every move and possibly foster resentment from players that might be your future teammates? Is it unreasonable to treat sexual preferance as a private matter that’s nobody else’s buisness?

  • guest

    “a shape not in shape” lol

  • qwerty

    Yeah, he sucks. All the time.

  • Ugh

    Hey, Dfrance, stop saying ‘they’ when one of ‘them’ is in the conversation with you.

  • Ugh

    Sorry bike, but that’s ignorant of the reality gay people face.

    Straight people can walk into any bar in the Western world and offer to buy a drink for anyone they want – and that’s a “private matter”. If you’re gay and try that, your “private matter” could have your teeth knocked out. And no, not just by the person you offer to buy the drink for. Usually it’s someone who happens to see the exchange take place.

    There are three solutions:
    1) Keep private matters totally private. Don’t hit on anyone, buy a drink for anyone, flirt with anyone anywhere public ever. Do you want that, or think that’s even possible?
    2) Keep being gay in the closet. Straight people can perform “private” things in public but gay people can’t.
    3) Make being gay so open and normalised that nobody will knock your teeth out for it.

    The third is the only option. Jason Collins, Michael Sam, etc etc, is part of a process of that. #3 won’t happen if Sam, Collins, et al., don’t normalise it.

  • Ugh

    Actually a really good question.

  • melvo

    Oh, do they need help filling seats?

  • bringbackthesonics

    Thank you? Considering the social climate in Russia, I wonder how this will go over in the mother land

  • Whoareyou

    And the irrelevant, stay relevant.

  • calmassertive

    Females and males would never share a locker room because of sexual attraction, I wonder how the other Nets players would feel in the change rooms around this guy?

  • The Seed

    Nets have no need for him or any other team in the NBA, He cannot play, his brother should be signed before him.

  • teck

    Regarding the buying a drink thing, whether you want to admit it or not, most people aren’t homosexual. I think most people who react extremely do so out of fear and hatred, but we can’t just pretend that half of the human population is open to same sex attraction. I’m not saying gays shouldn’t socialize with the general public, but I can’t understand why its hard for you to grasp that most people wouldn’t be welcome to same sex advances. I went to a predominantly lesbian gay bar with a co-worker. As attractive as many women there were, I wouldn’t hit on them. I respect that if they were inclined to male advances, they’d likely not go to hang out where so few heterosexual males frequented. Does that mean I shouldn’t go to that bar? No. It just means that I shouldn’t expect welcome if I hit on one of those women. Do you see what I’m saying? I agree with most of what you’re saying. I just don’t like the notion that you feel no guy should take issue with being hit on by another dude. Respect goes both ways. That doesn’t make someone a bigot.

  • Tony Taylor

    The third option. Is very unrealistic being we still can’t get past petty race issues. You do have a right to be gay lesbian transgendered or asexual or whatever you so please. I do not care what you are as long as you don’t force it down my throat that’s on you. In my opinion by just throwing it out there that you are gay without being asked in anyway or without any warrant for your public disclosure of your sexual preference is action seeking. Whether it be good press or bad press it’s all press. True it could do a lot of great for your career and brand on and of court/field, but if or when it backfires all of a sudden the rest of society is messed up. It’s nothing like being black in the fifties because everybody knew it there was no hiding or press conference called to proclaim ones ethnicity it was right there. Being gay is not that obvious and in many if not most (but not all) it is a choice and definitely not genetic.

    True there are some places where there is persecution and discrimination which is wrong
    But you all have an option to make things easier on yourselves but showing some dignity and not doing what I consider to be an attention cry. Because it does is guilt trip and create another of “white guilt” and distorts more than it clarifies.

  • Dfrance

    I agree with your #3, but I don’t think that the way Sam and Collins handled it, is the way to normalize it. Holding a press conference and doing exclusive magazine interviews is not normal. To make it normal, you just have to live your life as you would if no one was watching. My $0.02 on the matter.

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