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Jason Collins says he is leaning toward retirement

Aug 14, 2014, 10:57 AM EDT

Brooklyn Nets v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

What Jason Collins did last season was important because in the 22 games and 172 minutes he played the second half of last season, he helped change perceptions and start a conversation. He was the first openly gay player on a major professional sports team in the United States. That matters more than basketball.

But in terms of just basketball, Collins days may be done.

The Nets didn’t bring him in to score (which is good, he had 25 total points on 24 shots), they brought him in to do the little things — set a big screen, be physical inside and not be afraid to pick up fouls, rebound, be a veteran and professional presence in the locker room. He did all that fairly well. But the Nets had found their identity going smaller (with Kevin Garnett at the five) and that left Collins on the bench many nights and playing a very limited role. No team really has a big role for him anymore.

Collins basketball days may be behind him and he’s realizing it, reports Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group, who caught up with Collins and heard him speak in San Francisco.

“I used to be able to jump and touch the top of the white square behind the rim with ease,” Collins, 35, told the crowd of nearly 600 Monday night at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre for the Commonwealth Club’s latest Inforum conversation.

“As the years go by, you watch your hand go lower and lower on that square. Father Time is undefeated against us all. … I’m really grateful for my Stanford degree now. On the other hand, I can still dunk.”

As noted in the article, Collins can make more money now on the speaking circuit and with his Nike contract than he can on the court.

Collins was a fringe NBA player by the point in his career that he came out — and that revaluation didn’t help him land jobs, some teams were concerned about the distraction. The Nets took a chance because they had a need they thought he could fill, but even then he didn’t get many minutes. It’s possible he gets another mid-season call from a team or teams that are interested, but it’s not likely.

But Collins will still be around the NBA. He spoke at the recent rookie orientation about LGBT issues (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) and that showed why he is needed on the speaking circuit.

While discussing the need for a change in locker-room language, a player’s question let him know how much work remains to be done.

“I had to explain what LGBT stands for,” Collins said.

  1. 00maltliquor - Aug 14, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    What?? Mr. 1.1 & 0.9 CONSIDERS retiring and there’s an article about it but NOTHING about when it was over for the great Eduardo Najera?? This is some bull…

    • duhwighthoward - Aug 14, 2014 at 12:20 PM

      To this day, Najera would annihilate Jason Collin’s arse. (wait, that sounds bad, doesn’t it? I bet Jason Collins would like that more than anything else.)

      • genericcommenter - Aug 14, 2014 at 9:03 PM

        True. Just like how I’m a straight guy and I would just love to plow any female that walks by at any time.

    • chicagosports2014 - Aug 14, 2014 at 5:28 PM

      Good bye!

    • libertyman62 - Aug 14, 2014 at 6:15 PM

      I’m sure there are spots available for him in the WNBA.

      • jerze2387 - Aug 14, 2014 at 6:58 PM

        Idk. 1ppg and 1rpg couldnt be any better than what they already have

      • libertyman62 - Aug 14, 2014 at 7:52 PM

        jerze, at least s/he can dunk!

  2. brugis23 - Aug 14, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    I knew you were Mexican! Nothing wrong with it, actually it’s a great thing to be, I’m one myself. But we need to re educate ourselves, there are other team out there way cooler than the lakers, don’t be a bandwagon fan.

    • 00maltliquor - Aug 14, 2014 at 5:39 PM

      Can’t be a bandwagon fan bro, I was born into this Lakers life. Both my parents are from LA and although I was born in Houston, I followed what my dad did and have been rooting for the Lakers since I was 4 years old. I’m as real of a fan as it gets, no bandwagon here.

      And yeah, I’m Mexican..I don’t know how you would have known that lol! Najera was all we had (we had Horatio Llamas back in the days before Eduardo), he’s a legend in my eyes! Hopefully someone picks up Gustavo Ayon and Jorge Gutierrez before the season starts.

  3. mackcarrington - Aug 14, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    Hey, he averaged 1 point per shot. Isn’t that pretty efficient?

    • sportsfan18 - Aug 14, 2014 at 4:08 PM

      nope, well below league average…

      like everything else he did on the basketball court.

      2013/14 PER 4.1 ??? salary
      2012/13 PER 3.0 made $1.352 million
      2011/12 PER 3.7 made $1.352 million
      2010/11 PER 5.4 made $1.352 million
      2009/10 PER 0.9 made $1.181 million (yep, PER of LESS than one)
      2008/09 PER 3.3 made $6.2 million
      2007/08 PER 3.4 made $6.1 million
      2006/07 PER 3.0 made $5.8 million

      He earned over $34 million for his career. Career PER of 7.0

      He had 7 seasons with a PER of less than 5.0 (actually 4.1 or lower for 7 of his seasons in the league)

      People make fun of Roy Hibbert for not rebounding but he’s pulled down 9.3 boards per 36 min’s of court time.

      Jason 7 foot Collins only grabbed 6.5 boards per 36 min’s of court time.

      • 00maltliquor - Aug 14, 2014 at 5:41 PM

        Sportsfan18 to the rescue!

      • mackcarrington - Aug 14, 2014 at 7:32 PM

        He never fails to disappoint does he?

      • blogsk3tball - Aug 14, 2014 at 8:47 PM

        If you’re 7ft tall and born with a body that can handle NBA speed, you’re a millionaire

  4. hojo20 - Aug 14, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    Discrimination lawsuit coming against the Nets.

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 14, 2014 at 12:08 PM

      Why?

  5. azarkhan - Aug 14, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    Much ado about nothing.

  6. jonka - Aug 14, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    Nobody. Cares.

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 14, 2014 at 3:14 PM

      Says the guy who cared enough to click on the article, open it, read it AND comment on it.

      • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 14, 2014 at 3:42 PM

        Those things take a total of 5 seconds. I don’t think 5 seconds of a person’s attention means he cares about it.

      • asimonetti88 - Aug 14, 2014 at 6:02 PM

        Hmm.. so do you regularly spend 5 seconds on things you don’t care about? I typically spend 0 seconds on things I don’t care about.

  7. RavenzGunnerz - Aug 14, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    he is waiting for the nets to not renew his contract and a discrimination lawsuit.

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 14, 2014 at 3:13 PM

      Well his contract is already up, where’s the discrimination lawsuit?

    • genericcommenter - Aug 14, 2014 at 9:05 PM

      This is just stupid. I’m sure he’s grateful they gave him the chance to accomplish his goal, and now he’s done.

  8. eugenesaxe1 - Aug 14, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    He retired about 5 minutes after he was drafted.

  9. mauldawg - Aug 14, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    Who cares!

  10. campcouch - Aug 14, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    “I’m really grateful for my Stanford degree now.”

    I like that.

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