OK. So, your offensive skills seem to be diminishing with every passing day, you really blew that Hornets game earlier this season with the turnover and foul, and we had to close our eyes when you shot free throws the last few years, but don't think that you weren't appreciated here, Jason Collins.
You were an excellent positional defender in the low post. You helped the Nets win a lot of games by slowing down the opponents' big man. You were key in last season's First Round win over the Raptors with the way you pushed Chris Bosh around in the paint. To quote an NBA scout...
Collins is an underrated defender. He defended Bosh by himself in that series against Toronto and when you don't have to double the other team's best player, you're doing something well.
And the little things mean a lot. You may think that only your teammates and your coaches notice them, but there are some of us out there that do too.
Like when you allowed RJ to get that dunk the other day against Milwaukee. J-Kidd had the ball and you and RJ were running down the floor with Bogut in front of you. You sprinted ahead and pushed Bogut under the basket so RJ could could have a clear lane. J-Kidd got the assist. RJ got the two points. You made the play.
And there were countless other plays like that. Plays that didn't show up in the boxscore, but allowed your team to score, or kept the other team from scoring. We saw them.
You gave six and a half years to this team. You made the playoffs every single year. You played in two Finals. And your role was important. Thousands of basketball players have come through the NBA without accomplishing as much as you have. And most of them don't have a degree from Stanford either.
2004 Playoffs. First Round. Game 1. 4th Period.
(6:11) [NJN] Collins Foul: Flagrant Type 1 (5 PF)
(6:11) [NYK] Team Timeout: Regular
(6:11) [NYK] T. Thomas Substitution replaced by Mohammed
You knocked Whiny Tim on his ass and he was too scared to return.
For that, and for everything else you've done for the New Jersey Nets, we thank you Jason Collins. Good luck in Memphis ... and wherever else life may take you.