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Would the Nets have interest in Jason Collins?

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Kevin C. Cox

Marc Stein writes about Jason Collins pursuit of another NBA gig, five months after shocking the sports world by announcing he is gay, making him the first openly gay professional athlete in team sports. Stein asks, "Is Collins really still a free agent because of his advancing age and declining skills? Or is it actually because NBA franchises aren't nearly as ready to employ an openly gay center as they say they are?"

Stein then looks at three possibilities for Collins later in the season.  He includes the Nets in the mix, noting Collins' ties to Jason Kidd and others in the Nets organization.

"The Nets have no current opening or need for Collins, but I'm told they haven't ruled out revisiting the matter later in the season depending on the state of their frontcourt. Collins has long-standing ties to rookie coach Jason Kidd and lead assistant Lawrence Frank from their days together in the early 2000s, when the Nets were a perennial Eastern Conference contender, and is also well-liked by Brooklyn newcomers Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce after their time together last season in Boston. Mikhail Prokhorov, furthermore, is the one owner on the NBA map who scoffs at the luxury tax and could stomach eating one of his 15 guaranteed contracts to sign Collins and bump that $87 million tax bill even higher."

Left unsaid is how such a hiring could have political resonance in Russia. Vladimir Putin, who Prokhorov ran against for the Russian presidency, has successfully pushed controversial anti-gay legislation.

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