The Brooklyn Nets continued to turn heads the day after announcing a blockbuster trade with the Boston Celtics by stating that they’re looking to add free agent center Jason Collins to the team.
Yes, that Jason Collins; the same guy that announced in May he was gay.
Reception to his admission was met with mostly positive reactions from people inside the NBA and out, including President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and former President Bill Clinton. Since then he has become a symbol for tolerance and acceptance inside the pro sports community–a place not known for either trait.
While he was being hailed as the first active openly gay athlete in any of the four major North American sports there was one minor technicality that was being overlooked. He wasn’t exactly active when he made the announcement. True, he was on a roster last season playing games for the Celtics and Washington Wizards, but as of the end of the season he became a free agent; a man without a team.
So to truly become the first active gay athlete he needs to play somewhere next season. It looks like he may get that chance with the team he spent the best years of his career with, the Brooklyn Nets.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported: “Collins, 34, has close relationships with new Nets coach Jason Kidd and top assistant Lawrence Frank. They were together for seven successful seasons with the Nets when Frank was a coach, Kidd was the point guard and Collins provided a physical, defensive presence…”
The Nets were able to dump a lot of contracts in the trade with the Celtics, but they took on a couple good ones by adding Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry. When combined with Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez, that will not leave the team with much room to fill out the roster.
Hence the need to add guys like Collins that they can get for the league minimum.