MacLean commends Jason Collins’ courage

Don MacLean thinks Jason Collins is “courageous” for announcing he is gay while still playing in the NBA.

MacLean, who works on the Clippers’ pre-and post-game shows for FOX Sports West and Prime Ticket, played in the NBA from 1992-2001 and was named the league’s Most Improved Player in 1994 while with the Washington Bullets.

“I know he did it for personal reasons, but it’s historic,” said MacLean of Collins, who currently is with the Wizards. “My hope is that it inspires younger people who struggle with this … maybe it gives them the strength.

“I commend him (Collins) for it. It takes a lot of courage to be the first at anything.”

MacLean, however, isn’t sure how Collins’ news will be perceived in the NBA — and in locker rooms.

“We don’t know because it’s never been done before,” said MacLean, an All-American at UCLA and a first-round pick by Detroit (19th overall) in 1992.

As the journeyman Collins, who will head into his 13th season, is a free agent in a league that’s becoming smaller and more athletic, MacLean hopes the news doesn’t hamper the 7-footer’s chances at landing his next job.

“Will teams want to deal with all the media that comes to next training camp?” MacLean wonders. “Do they want to be the test case?”