Skip to content

Report: Perceived potential for media attention keeping Jason Collins from an NBA roster

Oct 22, 2013, 11:16 PM EDT

NBA player Jason Collins marches in the Gay Pride Parade in Boston Reuters

Jason Collins played 12 largely anonymous NBA seasons, and will likely end up being known more for an announcement involving his sexuality rather than for his contributions on the basketball court.

Collins announced he was gay shortly after his season ended in April, but has yet to be signed by another team for the upcoming season despite his readiness to join an NBA roster.

It’s perfectly reasonable to use Collins’ lack of production as the reason he remains unemployed, but at least one league executive believes that the attention his signing might bring is just as much of a factor.

From Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report:

Several GMs said the aversion to Collins isn’t over concern about how his sexuality will play in the locker room, but over the relentless media attention it will generate. “If it were just an initial blast and you knew it would settle down after that, it would be one thing,” said one executive. “But you know this is something that he and his teammates are going to be asked about everywhere they go, all season long, and all it takes is one guy to say something a little off and it could really blow up. He’s still good enough to play in the league, but when you throw in the ongoing media frenzy, most teams are going to decide it’s just not worth it.”

Meanwhile, Zach Lowe of Grantland believes that Collins will eventually draw interest, but not until midway though the season.

Early January brings 10-day contracts and the drop-dead date (January 10) after which all partially guaranteed contracts become fully guaranteed for the season. Teams will cut players ahead of January 10 for some cap savings, opening up roster spots and generating some churn. A bunch of team executives have earmarked this period as the time at which one team will sign Collins for his veteran leadership, screening, and post defense — and to make sure Collins’s brave statement gets its due attention.

It honestly would be great if a team signed Collins just to show support of his courage, but sadly, the NBA (like all professional sports leagues) simply doesn’t work that way.

If Collins could still play meaningful minutes, he’d already have a place on a roster. And if you’re inclined to disagree, go ahead and substitute his name with that of an All-Star and see where that gets you.

The fact that there are additional circumstances in his case which complicate things can’t be ignored, but teams want to win. If a GM believed he would help that goal, Collins would be in uniform before the end of business the very next day.

Latest Posts
  1. Michael Carter-Williams cleared to return to practice Nov. 6

    Oct 25, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

    Michael Carter-Williams

    Reigning Rookie of the Year had offseason shoulder surgery, but may not miss many regular season games.

  2. Gregg Popovich after Spurs go 2-5 in preseason: ‘We look like we’re not very interested’

    Oct 25, 2014, 9:30 PM EDT

    Gregg Popovich Gregg Popovich

    Defending champs have no reason to exert themselves until the games count in the standings.

  3. Nets head coach Hollins believes Brook Lopez will be ready for opening night

    Oct 25, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT

    New Jersey Nets practice 05/07/2014 New Jersey Nets practice 05/07/2014

    Lopez hasn’t practiced since it was reported he suffered a soft tissue injury to his surgically repaired foot on Oct. 16.

  4. Report: Klay Thompson’s camp ‘frustrated’ Warriors have yet to offer a max contract extension

    Oct 25, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT

    Klay Thompson Klay Thompson

    Warriors hold (almost) all the leverage, because Thompson will be a restricted free agent next summer.

  5. 67RIEFNS: Warriors starters with Draymond Green

    Oct 25, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

    Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers

    Lineup data shows Green greatly improves his team’s chances when playing with the starters.

  6. 67RIEFNS: Lance Stephenson on the loose

    Oct 25, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    Charlotte Hornets vs Philadelphia 76ers Charlotte Hornets vs Philadelphia 76ers

    Is Stephenson ready for responsibility that comes with going from Pacers to Hornets?

  7. Report: Cavaliers have had ‘zero discussion’ on contract extension with Tristan Thompson

    Oct 25, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

    Tristan Thompson Tristan Thompson

    It might be because short of an insane offer of a max deal, Thompson would rather take his chances as a restricted free agent next summer.

  8. Kings’ Ray McCallum sinks put-back at the buzzer to beat Lakers

    Oct 25, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

    Ray McCallum AP

    Nice job of McCallum to stay active on a play where he had already missed a shot.

  9. 67RIEFNS: Isaiah Thomas vs. Sacramento Kings

    Oct 25, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Clippers v Sacramento Kings Los Angeles Clippers v Sacramento Kings

    Will Thomas make Kings regret choosing Darren Collison over him?

  10. Thunder’s Anthony Morrow to miss 4-6 weeks with knee sprain

    Oct 25, 2014, 12:01 AM EDT

    Grizzlies vs Thunder Grizzlies vs Thunder

    Thunder will be very short-handed the first month of the regular season.

  11. Player intentionally makes shot in own basket in attempt to force overtime

    Oct 24, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

    And it was probably the smartest possible play

  12. 67RIEFNS: K.J. McDaniels testing the second-round system

    Oct 24, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT

    2014 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot Getty Images

    76ers forwent any guaranteed salary to hit free agency sooner

Featured video

Heat can make playoffs without LeBron
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. K. Bryant (4579)
  2. V. Oladipo (4518)
  3. B. Lopez (4515)
  4. K. Lowry (4453)
  5. N. Noel (4417)