Jason Collins, who most recently made headlines – and an Sports Illustrated cover – for an announcement involving his sexuality, will be remembered in the NBA for that and that alone.
Collins announced that he was gay back in April, and since then, he hasn’t gotten a sniff from any NBA teams – at least not publicly.
Though, the black sheep in the room remains to be why he hasn’t received any interest — if he hasn’t received any because of his announcement or because of his ability or lack thereof.
However, at least one executive in the league believes the possibility of the media circus that he could potentially bring to a team remains to be a big factor.
[via 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.”
Others, including Zach Lowe of Grantland, believe that Collins’ time will eventually come but it might not until the middle of 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’s tough to pinpoint to one factor outweighing the other, especially in a situation like this. Though, if Collins could contribute right now, wouldn’t he already be on a team? Or at least would’ve been given a training camp invite?
I would like to believe that the NBA is big enough to look past someone’s personal preference, but then again I’m not naïve.
I just hope that he’s not being blackballed.
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