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Friday And-1 Links: What have we learned from Jason Collins?

Oct 11, 2013, 6:41 PM EDT

FILE:  NBA Player Jason Collins Comes Out As Gay Getty Images

Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points like kids love pizza….

Jason Collins is not on an NBA team as we approach the start of the season. Is that because he provides a limited skill set — defense in the post — as the NBA wants bigs who stretch the floor, is it because he’s older, or is it because he came out as openly gay last summer? In our “if you read one NBA thing today make it this” file is Friday’s post from Kevin Arnovitz (one of the best NBA writers around) at ESPN, the answer is not simple. It’s a little bit of everything.

League trends aside, nearly a dozen execs say privately that the media glare that would come with a Collins signing just isn’t worth the distraction to most teams. Locker rooms are fragile places already and not always receptive to change, and though NBA players as a whole are extremely professional with the media, it’s not their favorite half hour of the day. The easier it is, the better. If he were a rotation player or better, the thinking goes, the cost/benefit analysis might produce a different outcome.

In other words, the market for Collins would be bigger if he weren’t openly gay.

Andrea Bargnani returns with the Knicks to Toronto on Friday. Raptors coach Dwane Casey’s advice? “Buy earplugs.”

• The latest “Licenced to Lillard” video is out, and Damian Lillard looks back on his rookie season and talks about getting ready for year two.

Duke has become the first university program to put in the Sports VU motion tracking cameras (which will be in all NBA arenas this year).

Larry Bird didn’t expect to be back with the Pacers quite so quickly, but he’s glad he took a year off.

• In case you missed it, Portland’s Thomas Robinson was ejected from Wednesday’s preseason game, although apparently it was pretty ticky-tack.

JaVale McGee was buying Nuggets fans donuts.

• My favorite new tumblr: stories from New York/Times Square hotel concierges.

Red Auerbach’s daughter says her father would never have traded both Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. I don’t know, by all accounts Red was pretty much an old-school hard ass.

• Finally, Yahoo’s Marc Spears swung by NBC Sports Network’s Sports Dash on Friday to talk the upcoming NBA season.

  1. ryanw822 - Oct 11, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    we learned 2 things.

    1. NBA teams arent out searching for old guys to play 3 minutes a game and score no points.

    2. the media wont accept that being the reason why Collins isnt playing anymore.

    • limonadamas - Oct 11, 2013 at 8:20 PM

      Seriously! I don’t remember people wailing about why Adonal Foyle wasn’t being offered a contract at the end of his career…

    • 00maltliquor - Oct 12, 2013 at 2:50 AM

      Spot on ryanw822.

      Actually, him being gay I think helped his chances of getting another contract. GM’s would be crowned with the words “brave” and “hero’s”. He just sucked for his last team, no matter what his orientation.

  2. antistratfordian - Oct 12, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    “In other words, the market for Collins would be bigger if he weren’t openly gay.”

    No kidding. Arnovitz is a good writer, and I agree with him here, but I’m sure someone will wonder if he was the best choice for objectivity.

  3. jimsjam33 - Oct 12, 2013 at 2:23 AM

    Kurt Helin ,

    I see you’re still preaching on your ” Openly Gay ” platform . Sorry , but there’s no one left to beat on your old base drum anymore .

    • Kurt Helin - Oct 12, 2013 at 8:44 PM

      I’m sorry that a link to a smart story that looked at the situation with nuance offended you, or was just too hard for you to understand because it wasn’t simple with small words.

      Again, you are not obligated to click on any story you don’t like.

      • jimsjam33 - Oct 13, 2013 at 4:39 AM

        Kurt ,

        Thank you for being so concerned for me about small words , but I must admit the words were easy enough to understand . . Arnovitz’s ” smart story ” with it’s subtle and new look at an old , tired , and worn out subject , the openly gay Jason Collins , is a snoozer.

        Again ? Obligated ? Of course I’m obligated . How else can one determine if he doesn’t like a story or not . Logic 101 .

      • Kurt Helin - Oct 14, 2013 at 6:03 PM

        I determine interest in a story by hits and comments. Collins stories get higher than average hits. You clicked on the story and commented on it. If you honestly didn’t care you wouldn’t have commented on it. So, again, thanks for caring about Collins and reading the story.

  4. 00maltliquor - Oct 12, 2013 at 2:52 AM

    Why have you guys permanently blocked me from all Jason Collins articles?? For real, gimme a good reason.

  5. 00maltliquor - Oct 12, 2013 at 2:52 AM

    OOooh, and this makes it!^ Go figure!

  6. eugenesaxe1 - Oct 12, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    Collins knew his career was over when he came out. He did so hoping some team wanted the publicity bump. Teams would rather win, so…

    • profoundtoo - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:25 AM

      eugenesaxe1 I totally agree with you. Why else would he come out now? He knew this was his only chance, especially with the media LOOKING for the first openly gay professional player. So he said why not? What have I got to lose? Nothing, but I could gain “one-more” contract.

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