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Stackhouse: Collins should be assured contract

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07:06 AM ET 04.30 | Now that free agent center Jason Collins has made some history, some wonder whether he'll have trouble landing a new contract this summer. [Collins'] friend Jerry Stackhouse has a high-level solution: Commissioner David Stern. ... "I hope not," Stackhouse said of the possibility that close-minded NBA executives might pass on the 12-year veteran center. "It might not be the best fit for their basketball team, but it's a fit for where we need to go as a league. So if there's ever a chance for the commissioner who's leaving in February to step in and maybe push a button, I think that would be a good opportunity to do it." ... Stackhouse, 38, was one of the earliest voices to support Collins.

New York Daily News

Jason Collins, Icon Sports Jason Collins, Icon Sports
April 30, 2013  07:48 AM ET

Yeah this thread is gonna be watched VERY closely

Comment #2 has been removed
Comment #3 has been removed
April 30, 2013  08:09 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

It will be a litmus test for who the losers are around here.Losers are the ones who feel a need to poke fun at gays - in large part because they are uncomfortable with who they are themselves.Let's see.

While I don't think it's acceptable to poke fun at homosexual people, not everyone has to agree with the lifestyle. People can have an adverse opinion, as long as it is done correctly.

April 30, 2013  08:11 AM ET

It's time for all of us to move on! It doesn't make a difference if the person is gay or not it's what's inside him, his morals and how he treats others.

A person my son has a great amount of respect for recently came out as well. I asked if his point of view changed about him and he answered NO.

April 30, 2013  08:14 AM ET

I understand Jerry's sentiment, but I think that Jason's career should stand as it always has. "Based on merit." I think it's the one way to make sure that his career stays legitimate and doesn't become a "cause c??l??bre". He should have a position on a team that believes he will help them. I know that his career statistics don't give anyone reason to think he'd be a major contributor, but it's clear by the statements of his former teammates that "he's a great teammate, presence and mentor." That has to count for something. What's more, teams always talk about having players like this on their roster, so why not him? Why not now?

The thing that I take away from this is that over the past 12 years, there are a six teams (that means players, coaches and front office), that have first hand experience in regards to what it's like to have play alongside a gay athlete. What's more is they know exactly how to go about it... "Just as they do on any other day." If they go about the business of basketball and be no more and no less involved in the lives of their "teammates", things will go well. I think it's fair to say that we all have opinions about people we work with. Some good, others "not so much". Still, we find a way to do our jobs, while being respectful and courteous (hopefully). In situations like this, I'm always reminded of what Val Kilmer (Iceman) said to Tom Cruise (Maverick) in the movie "Top Gun"... "You may not like the people you fly with and they may not like you, but whose side are you on?"

I truly hope that Jason finds a team next season. I also hope that he finds the freedom to (at this stage in his career) to be even better than he was before. That would put an exclamation point on the whole deal and I'll be one of those applauding him.

April 30, 2013  08:17 AM ET

Frickin editor: Sorry for the double post folks!

I understand Jerry's sentiment, but I think that Jason's career should stand as it always has. "Based on merit." I think it's the one way to make sure that his career stays legitimate and doesn't become a "cause celebre". He should have a position on a team that believes he will help them. I know that his career statistics don't give anyone reason to think he'd be a major contributor, but it's clear by the statements of his former teammates that "he's a great teammate, presence and mentor." That has to count for something. What's more, teams always talk about having players like this on their roster, so why not him? Why not now?

The thing that I take away from this is that over the past 12 years, there are a six teams (that means players, coaches and front office), that have first hand experience in regards to what it's like to have play alongside a gay athlete. What's more is they know exactly how to go about it... "Just as they do on any other day." If they go about the business of basketball and be no more and no less involved in the lives of their "teammates", things will go well. I think it's fair to say that we all have opinions about people we work with. Some good, others "not so much". Still, we find a way to do our jobs, while being respectful and courteous (hopefully). In situations like this, I'm always reminded of what Val Kilmer (Iceman) said to Tom Cruise (Maverick) in the movie "Top Gun"... "You may not like the people you fly with and they may not like you, but whose side are you on?"

I truly hope that Jason finds a team next season. I also hope that he finds the freedom to (at this stage in his career) to be even better than he was before. That would put an exclamation point on the whole deal and I'll be one of those applauding him.

FIXED

Comment #8 has been removed
Comment #9 has been removed
April 30, 2013  08:23 AM ET

Collin's timing of his announcement makes this kinda iffy. Is he using his homosexuality to drive up interest in him as a player? Why didn't he come out when he was already in the league with a contract. It's great he came out but to me it's nothing special. Amaechi came out when he was out of the league as well so I don't see what makes Collins' coming so special.

What would have been special was if he came out right in the middle of the season or just when he had signed a contract so he can guarantee playing for the gay flag. That way the NBA will be forced to deal with an active player to test their degree of tolerance.

Now Collins has put the entire league in an awkward situation. If he doesn't get a contract a spell of homophobia will get cast on the league. If a team signs him they become the first team to sign an openly gay player. While there's nothing wrong with that it'll raise questions as to whether he was signed for his abilities or homosexuality.

This will be interesting. I look forward to how it plays out.

April 30, 2013  08:26 AM ET

While I don't have a problem with gays and homosexuallity, I also don't understand why it has to be broadcast. Sexual preference regardless of what it is should be like Las Vegas. What happens there [should] stay there.

Now, on to basketball...

Comment #12 has been removed
April 30, 2013  08:28 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

As someone wrote yesterday.......This was a calculated move by him, so he can have a post-bball career and up his current fame level, cause he was a nobody before yesterday.That being said, its 2013, nobody cares about his off court preferences.Half the entertainment industry is of that preference and no one caresSo let's just move on and talk ON court ball.

agree 100%

April 30, 2013  08:33 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

While I don't have a problem with gays and homosexuallity, I also don't understand why it has to be broadcast. Sexual preference regardless of what it is should be like Las Vegas. What happens there [should] stay there. Now, on to basketball...

In related news... Chris Bosh will be announcing his decision on a conference on ESPN this afternoon...

April 30, 2013  08:34 AM ET

Kudos, Jason....

April 30, 2013  08:39 AM ET

It appears that because of an alternate life-style people of today's world want to celebrate a person coming out. Are those same people celebrating those that don't share that alternate life-style? Because gays and lesbians are deciding to announce their choice and preference out aloud it should not have an effect on everyone's opinion. Understand it's a new day and new situations, however, it should not mean that those who choose to remain on the other side of the fence should perge their believe or godly principles. I'm all for "live and let live" and not condoning discrimination in any form, but I feel as if the world is forming reverse discrimination if your not "onboard" with this "coming out" movement.

April 30, 2013  08:43 AM ET

God bless Jason. Good for you for the first NBA athlete to come out. People say it's not a big deal but it is base on everyone's comments... There are no wrong time or right time to come out. He is just making a stand that gays have as much right as anybody else. Anyways, the guy should not get a contract base on his beliefs. It should be base on his production.

April 30, 2013  08:48 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

It will be a litmus test for who the losers are around here.Losers are the ones who feel a need to poke fun at gays - in large part because they are uncomfortable with who they are themselves.Let's see.

Yet, you've accused people on here of being gay....

Hmmmmm. I smell a hypocrite....

April 30, 2013  08:51 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Collin's timing of his announcement makes this kinda iffy. Is he using his homosexuality to drive up interest in him as a player? Why didn't he come out when he was already in the league with a contract. It's great he came out but to me it's nothing special. Amaechi came out when he was out of the league as well so I don't see what makes Collins' coming so special. What would have been special was if he came out right in the middle of the season or just when he had signed a contract so he can guarantee playing for the gay flag. That way the NBA will be forced to deal with an active player to test their degree of tolerance. Now Collins has put the entire league in an awkward situation. If he doesn't get a contract a spell of homophobia will get cast on the league. If a team signs him they become the first team to sign an openly gay player. While there's nothing wrong with that it'll raise questions as to whether he was signed for his abilities or homosexuality.This will be interesting. I look forward to how it plays out.

This comment makes a lot of sense and was a great read. Congratulations, happy for him, brave guy, blah blah blah. About time I heard some insight.

 
April 30, 2013  08:52 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

In related news... Chris Bosh will be announcing his decision on a conference on ESPN this afternoon...

Lol...

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