NBA

Jason Collins Plans to Hold out for NBA Opportunity

Mar. 20, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Washington Wizards center Jason Collins against the Phoenix Suns at the US Airways Center. The Wizards defeated the Suns 88-79. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Adam FromalNational NBA Featured ColumnistNovember 2, 2013

If Jason Collins is going to play professional basketball again, it'll be in the NBA

According to ESPN's Marc Stein, Collins could have joined Ricky Davis, Quincy Douby and the rest of the players hoping to make it back into the Association by submitting his name for the D-League draft, but he instead declined. An anonymous source told Stein that the big man wan't interested in playing sub-NBA ball, whether that came through the D-League or a professional league in a different country.

Instead, Collins will continue working out and striving to prove that his twin brother, Jarron Collins, was correct when he told ESPN that Jason was in "the best shape of his life." Jarron also said that he'd "never seen him as physically strong as he is now."

CENTURY CITY, CA - MAY 19:  Pro basketball player Jason Collins speaks onstage after receiving the Inspirational Athlete of the Year Award at the 28th Anniversary Sports Spectacular Gala at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on May 19, 2013 in Century City,
Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images

Stein continued his report, saying that there were multiple reasons Collins has yet to earn so much as a training camp invite.

One of the two primary concerns was expanded upon by Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher, who relayed a quote from an unnamed executive in the Association: 

If it were just an initial blast and you knew it would settle down after that, it would be one thing. 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.

It's worth noting, as The Seattle Times' William Saletan does, that prejudice is not at fault here. Teams have concerns about the incessant media coverage and the effect that it could have on a team. Saletan writes that "it's a basketball decision," and then he goes on to draw a hesitant comparison to what happened with Jackie Robinson in the 1940s. 

Additionally, the growing dearth of back-to-the-basket scorers in the NBA negates his primary skill. Collins has long been known as a stellar post defender, and that hasn't changed as the years have piled up.

The 7-footer spent the 2012-13 season playing with the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards. Now, unless a team takes a chance on him and offers him a 10-day contract during the middle of the season, it appears likely they'll be the last entries on his basketball resume. 

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