Feb 22, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT
Collins hasn’t played since last season, but made headlines by coming out as gay once his team was eliminated from postseason contention. It was a brave public gesture, but he’s remain unemployed ever since.
Nets players were asked about the potential addition of Collins to their locker room, and they all seemed completely fine with it — though Deron Williams did acknowledge the additional media attention that signing Collins would bring.
From Rod Boone of Newsday:
“We would accept it greatly and it shouldn’t be a problem, man,” Joe Johnson said Friday as the Nets (25-27) prepared to take on the Warriors (33-22) Saturday night. “We’ve got a veteran group and I think everybody is pretty comfortable in their own skin. It’s about what he can do to help us out there on that court. That’s what it’s about.” …
“I think it’s definitely going to be a media circus just because of the situation,” Williams said. “It’d be a historic day and so we definitely have to deal with that. But I think with the type of team that we have, veterans who have played with him before and know him, it shouldn’t be a problem.” …
“It’s not him being a distraction,” Williams said. “It’s just the media coming along with it, because every city you go to, it’s not just like you answer a question once and then it’s over with. It’s a recurring thing. But like I said, I don’t think it would be a problem for us.”
The Nets play in one of the largest media markets there is, and there couldn’t possibly be more people that show up for the team’s biggest games. Collins would be a fringe player who rarely saw game action if he did sign, so his presence around the team in relation to his on-court role would be minimal, at best.
It would be nice to see Collins get a shot with someone this season, if for no other reason than to begin to break down some societal walls. But the reality is that if he could truly contribute to a team at this late stage of his career, his personal life wouldn’t matter — he’d have already been signed.
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