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Jason Collins says NBA player taunted him on court for being gay

Jason-Collins-NetsJason Collins knew when he decided to come out as gay that not everyone would be accepting of his sexual preference. The Brooklyn Nets forward is the first openly gay player to be on an active NBA roster, and some people don’t react well to change. As you might have expected, Collins said he has been the victim of homophobic taunts since signing with the Nets.

The good news is Collins said only one player has taunted him on the court over his sexual preference. The bad news is that there are adults in the world who are that immature.

“One player, one knucklehead from another team,” Collins told Stefan Bondy of the NY Daily News on Thursday. “He’s a knucklehead. So I just let it go. Again, that goes back to controlling what you can control. That’s how I conduct myself — just being professional.”

Collins is set to make his first trip through Bible Belt states since signing with Brooklyn, which means he is prepared for the potential of hearing more nasty comments. The Nets have a series of road games in Dallas, New Orleans and Charlotte starting on Saturday.

“You can’t control what other people are going to do,” Collins said when asked if he is concerned about the trip.

Collins also said he takes pride in the fact that the Nets are 10-3 since signing him, proving that all the “distraction” talk is overstated when it comes to having a gay player on your team. From what we know, Collins has handled himself with nothing but class. He’s not looking for trouble, or he could have easily outed the player who taunted him. He just wants to play basketball.

Jason Collins gets standing ovation from Lakers fans (Video)

Jason-Collins-NetsJason Collins signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, becoming the first openly gay athlete on an active roster in one of the four major American sports. He later made his Nets debut against the Los Angeles Lakers, and Collins was treated to a warm reception from fans at the Staples Center.

Collins entered the game with just over 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter. He played 11 minutes and finished with two rebounds and a steal in Brooklyn’s 108-102 win over LA.

After the game, Collins was peppered with questions about the cultural importance of the evening. He tried to steer reporters toward discussing basketball and said he needs to spend a lot more time learning the Nets’ playbook and figuring out how he can help the team win.

The night went pretty much as anticipated, but Lakers fans deserve credit for the reception they gave Collins. It was certainly nice to see.

Jason Collins to sign with Brooklyn Nets

Jason CollinsThe Brooklyn Nets worked out free agent forward Jason Collins last week and were strongly considering signing him. According to various reports, Collins will sign a 10-day contract with the Nets and be available to play against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night.

As Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported, Collins was Plan B for the Nets after they pursued Glen Davis. Big Baby is expected to clear waivers at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday and sign with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Collins came out as gay last year and has been a free agent since due to his age and declining ability. The 35-year-old played for the Washington Wizards last season.

Once he signs, Collins will become the first openly gay player in one of the four major American sports. Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com noted that Collins has said he wanted to be signed as a basketball decision and not a PR stunt, and it seems he will get his wish. The Nets are in need of front court help after trading Reggie Evans and missing out on Davis.

Brooklyn Nets worked out Jason Collins, considering signing him

Jason CollinsThe Brooklyn Nets worked out Jason Collins this week in Los Angeles and are giving “strong consideration” to signing him, ESPN reports.

Nets GM Billy King confirmed to the NY Daily News’ Stefan Bondy that the team worked out Collins this week. Collins reportedly was in shape for the workout.

Collins, 35, played for the Washington Wizards last season but has gone unsigned this season because of his age and declining ability. He’s only played limited minutes and made limited contributions in recent seasons.

Collins came out as gay last year and would become the first openly gay player in the NBA if the Nets signed him. If the Nets were to sign him, it would most likely be on a 10-day contract for frontcourt depth.

Such a signing wouldn’t be too big of a deal for two reasons: one, Collins wouldn’t have much of an impact on the court and two, he already came out several months ago, so this wouldn’t exactly be new news.

Jason Kidd confident Jason Collins will find a job, can help someone

Jason CollinsJason Collins is still without a job about two months from the start of the NBA season, but his former teammate Jason Kidd thinks he’ll end up with a team.

Kidd is the current coach of the Brooklyn Nets, and the two were teammates on the Nets for seven seasons from 2001-2008. Kidd values his former teammate and says the franchise even talked about the possibility of signing the free agent center, though they ultimately elected not to.

The Nets currently have a full roster, but Kidd believes Collins has a lot to offer.

“His knowledge as a veteran . . . can help a young team,” Kidd said of Collins, via Newsday. “He’ll find a job at some point.”

In April, Collins became the first male athlete in major professional US sports to announce he is gay. Even before he made his announcement, Collins’ chances of getting a job this season seemed slim. He is 34 and not much more than a big-bodied center who can provide a few minutes of solid defense. He’ll likely only be picked up if a team has an injury and needs someone to fill in.

Detroit Pistons not that interested in Jason Collins

Jason CollinsA report on Saturday said the Detroit Pistons expressed interest in signing Jason Collins, but a new report says the team’s interest in the free agent center is not that strong.

ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein reported on Saturday that the Pistons “opened a dialogue” with Collins, who played for the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards last season but remains unsigned this offseason.

The Detroit News countered the ESPN report, saying two sources told them Collins is not seriously being considered because the Pistons prefer a younger player to back up Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe.

Collins made national news in April when he became the first professional athlete in major American team sports to announce he is gay. Most believe Collins remains unsigned because of age and declining skill, not sexual preference.

My guess is the source of ESPN’s report was Collins’ agent, while The News’ sources came from the team. That probably explains the difference in optimism about the possibility of Collins signing with the team.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Jason Collins’ ex-fiancee Carolyn Moos: The media seems to be a higher priority

Carolyn MoosJason Collins became the first active professional athlete in the four major American sports to reveal he is gay just over two months ago, and for the most part we have already stopped talking about it. If you ask me, that is a good thing. The idea is to look at a gay NBA player as a professional basketball player, not a gay professional basketball player.

However, one of the interesting side stories that has arisen from the Collins situation is that of his ex-fiancee Carolyn Moos. Collins and Moos were together for eight years and were engaged to be married before he inexplicably called off their wedding in 2009. The April revelation allowed Moos to connect some of the dots, and she told her story in an upcoming peace for Cosmopolitan magazine.

“A month before I was set to marry the man I loved, he called off the wedding,” Moos wrote. “I had no idea why. He and I had been together for eight years. We had planned to have children, build a family. Nearly four years later, I got my answer. My former fiancé, Jason Collins, a pro basketball player with the Washington Wizards, announced last spring in Sports Illustrated that he is gay.”

Moos, who previously said she never suspected Collins was gay, said he came out to her over the phone the same day the article was published. However, he did not mention the SI story. She had to later find out about it from a friend. In fact, Moos is bothered by the fact that she has still not spoken to Collins about it.

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