Nets work out Jason Collins, GM King confirms
NEW YORK — Looking to add a big man, the Brooklyn Nets have worked out center Jason Collins, who would become the first openly gay active NBA player if signed.
General manager Billy King did not attend the workout in Los Angeles during the All-Star break that was reported by ESPN.com, but said Thursday on a conference call he was told Collins is "in shape."
Collins revealed at the end of last season he is gay. The 35-year-old Collins played in 38 games for Boston and Washington in 2012-13 and hasn’t been particularly productive in recent years, but has a number of former teammates on the Nets, including coach Jason Kidd.
Michael Sam, the SEC defensive player of the year from Missouri, recently revealed he is gay and is taking part in this weekend’s NFL draft combine.
The Nets have an opening for a big man after trading Reggie Evans along with Jason Terry to Sacramento on Wednesday for guard Marcus Thornton.
King said he and Kidd have a list of players they will consider, and Collins will be on it. He said the players considered will range from those who have been bought out by other NBA teams to those who have been playing in China or the NBA Development League.
Collins played with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce last season in Boston, and Nets guard Joe Johnson in Atlanta. The well-respected veteran attended the State of the Union address as a guest of first lady Michelle Obama.
King said the Nets wouldn’t be concerned about any extra attention the signing of Collins would provide.
"We’re going to bring in a basketball player," King said. "It’s not about marketing or anything like that."
King said the Nets tried to find another deal for a big man before Thursday’s deadline. If they do sign one, he said he wasn’t sure if it would be for the rest of the season or on a 10-day contract, adding that would depend on the player.