Welts’ combination of optimism and apprehension is shared by many others around the league who are rooting for Collins, but recognize the forces working against him. They list any number of factors, some unique to his identity as the only openly gay free agent, others products of circumstance.As the league gets stretchier — with some teams employing as few as four conventional big men — fewer NBA jobs remain for a center whose primary on-court asset is interior defense. Many teams prefer to take fliers on younger prospects whose contracts can be discarded on Jan. 10, when the vets’ phones start to ring. For their part, the Warriors have stockpiled centers. They have Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli, Ognjen Kuzmic, Jermaine O’Neal and Dewayne Dedmon all under contract.
“The reality for our team is that we are really deep at the center position — there’s not a roster spot available,” Welts says.
League trends aside, nearly a dozen execs say privately that the media glare that would come with a Collins signing just isn’t worth the distraction to most teams. Locker rooms are fragile places already and not always receptive to change, and though NBA players as a whole are extremely professional with the media, it’s not their favorite half hour of the day. The easier it is, the better. If he were a rotation player or better, the thinking goes, the cost/benefit analysis might produce a different outcome.
In other words, the market for Collins would be bigger if he weren’t openly gay.
- From “What we’re learning from Jason Collins,” by Kevin Arnovitz
By Andrea Plaid
Those who follow this weekly post know that we just don’t crush out about people here; we’ve been known to show massive love to things like photographs around here. This week’s Crush is along that line.
This week’s Loved Up is Sherman Alexie’s essay about basketball player Jason Collins coming out this week. “Why,” you ask? As the R’s Owner/Editor Latoya Peterson said, “Sherman Alexie is a fool, and we should celebrate it.”
By Site Lead Arturo R. García
Better get comfy now: the case of The People vs. Lebron James might go through a lull or two over the summer – wedding incidents notwithstanding – but it’ll resume in full force when the NBA season starts again this fall.
For now, almost one week after “The Decision,” everybody involved is looking for sympathy. But aside from those poor kids who were herded onto live television to watch their hometown hero drag his one-man show out longer than the Lost finale, they’re all falling short.
James, of course, has to take most of the blame for this debacle. As an alleged lifelong sports fan, he had to know what he was risking by turning his break-up with both the Cleveland Cavaliers and his native Ohio into a one-night-stand with reality television. If James had taken the usual route for this announcement – you know, a faux-solemn press conference, which would’ve still given ESPN some ratings – it’d all be over but the spin control by this point. Instead, it’s only just begun.