NBA center and journeyman, Jason Collins was probably most noted for playing alongside his twin brother Jarron at Stanford that is until he came out as openly gay in a cover story with Sports Illustrated. The league, and entire sports world gave Collins a ton of support and praise for no longer hiding who he is.
The 34 year old is currently unsigned, and after 12 years in the NBA on six different teams he wants another chance. Jason is hoping that the issue of his sexuality isn't stopping teams from signing him, and feels that even though he would be deep in a team's rotation, there are players in the league he is better than.
“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.” [...]
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.”
Doc Rivers coached Collins in Boston, and says that he would definitely sign the free agent big man if a spot became available on his roster.
“Let me put it this way: if one of my bigs goes down and he’s not signed, I’m signing him,” Rivers said. “I’m not signing him because he’s gay. I’m not signing him because it’s a story and it brings us attention. I’m signing him because he has a value to help us win. I do have the advantage that I coached him, and I know what type of guy he is, how tough he is.”
Had this all happened during the old CBA then we'd most likely see Jason Collins on an NBA roster right now, but teams are reticent to go over the salary cap for a 34 year old journeyman who would be one of the last players on the bench. As injuries amass during the season, it will be interesting to see if someone takes a shot on this proven veteran center.