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NBA

The Brooklyn Nets Are A Perfect Fit For Jason Collins


jason collinsAdrian Wojnarowski reports that the Brooklyn Nets are “targeting” NBA free agent Jason Collins. Collins is no ordinary veteran, of course — he’s looking to become to the first openly gay man to play in the league (he would be the second in American sports behind Robbie Rogers of the L.A. Galaxy). This is a perfect fit.

The Nets need low-cost contributors because they are more than maxed-out on contracts: They’re already paying 11 guys $95.2 million in 2013-14, putting them tens of millions of dollars over the luxury tax threshold ($71.6 million). They need to pay their 12th man the league’s veteran minimum, which is exactly what Collins was expected to command this summer as a 34-year-old backup.

And from Collins’ perspective, Brooklyn could not be a better situation. Basketball-wise he’s coming to a loaded, veteran, professional team, filled with guys he’s used to playing with (Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in Boston, Jason Kidd in New Jersey) and for (Lawrence Frank).

Culturally speaking? Brooklyn and gay go together like… Brooklyn and pizza. Coney Island and hot dogs. Hipsters and the L train. I could go on. The Barclays Center sits at the junction of several different Brooklyn neighborhoods, including several known for their gay-friendliness such as Park Slope (where I, [the author] am from) and Fort Greene. Sure, Chelsea or the West Village in Manhattan rival any NYC neighborhood in this regard, but that’s Knicks territory.

Collins is sure to find great support, as well as unfortunate scrutiny, from the fans of any team he signs with. But certain cities are just better suited for embracing the NBA’s first gay player than others, and Brooklyn tops them all. Look at how awesome the Brooklyn Pride Parade is.

The Nets, to this point, have felt more like the New Jersey Nets of Brooklyn than the borough’s own team. Signing Collins would go a long way toward helping the Nets claim the new surroundings as their own. You might even make a Nets fan out of this life-long Brooklynite. (Not really, but it couldn’t hurt.)

Photo via Getty


  • Ted Tidwell

    Seriously..is this a article anything more than the TIME OUT! Brooklyn Travel Guide, for the inconsequential gay NBA 12th man?

    You going to be running anymore stories that expound on the culture and activities in the remaining 31 NBA markets, for the (insert your sexual preference here) 12th men?

    Lame story.

  • Mountains2Sea

    Is Jason Collins signing to any team relevant sports news? Not really. Is it relevant culturally and socially, yes. Sports often times plays a significant role is breaking down social barriers and stigmas.

  • Chuck

    “The Nets, to this point, have felt more like the New Jersey Nets of Brooklyn than the borough’s own team. Signing Collins would go a long way toward helping the Nets claim the new surrounds as their own”

    This is laughable. Who is going to root for the Nets because Jason Collins, a gay man, plays 5 mpg for them?

  • CMD

    Jason Collins wasn’t a good player while he was in the closet. Not sure why you think it is the job of sports to break down social barriers and stigmas for over the hill scrubs.

    Jackie Robinson was a Hall of Fame baseball player with skills that scouts recognized when scouting him prior to the Dodgers signing him. He was young and talented. In addition to being a superb all around athlete in other sports such as football and lacrosse. Rickey didn’t just sign guys off the street. Please stop the insanity.

  • Mountains2Sea

    When did I say it was the job of sports to break down social barriers and stigmas? Just because this isn’t important to you doesn’t mean it’s a socially irrelevant story.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry for taking the bait, but if you’re really going to make this absurd analogy, just realize that Robinson wasn’t the best player in the Negro Leagues. Branch Rickey signed him, over more talented players, because of his remarkable attitude, because he was actually somehow able to withstand all of the bullshit he wound up facing.

    And how you say something about sports not breaking barriers and then use a Jackie Robinson analogy, I can’t wrap my head around.

  • Ted Tidwell

    Breaking down social barriers = signing Jason Collins at the league minimum (500K), to sit at the end of the bench to be a mascot for the gay community in Brooklyn. I get it “pride”, trumps common sense, because you know the 12th man is a throw away player, and when you get that deep in the bench why not make the criteria for selecting the guy who sits there, his sexual preference.


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