Jason Collins has likely played his last game as an NBA player. After breaking the rainbow line last season by becoming the first openly gay athlete in any of the four profesional sports, Collins has yet to file his retirement papers and he still plays a role in the NBA, last week speaking at the league's rookie seminar.
But as Marcus Thompson II of the Oakland Tribune writes Thursday...
He's still undecided about attempting a return for his 14th NBA season. And he does have some interest in becoming a coach or joining a front office. But right now, he is already fulfilled and has never been more relevant to the sports landscape.
Collins spoke Monday to the Bay Area's prestigious Commonwealth Club in San Francisco and talked about his diminishing skill set but noted he still has one talent.
"I used to be able to jump and touch the top of the white square behind the rim with ease," Collins, 35, told the crowd of nearly 600. "As the years go by, you watch your hand go lower and lower on that square. Father Time is undefeated against us all. ... I'm really grateful for my Stanford degree now. On the other hand, I can still dunk."
There has been some discussion of a political career, not a stretch considering his close ties to Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III, his college roommate; Chelsea Clinton and the President and First Lady. There was no hint of that in his talk, but he did talk about the social role of athletes. He won't lack for work either. His endorsement deals are likely to provide him more than the $2 million he'd receive from an NBA team. He averaged 1.1 points and 0.9 rebounds in his short stint with the Nets.
- Thompson: Jason Collins finds his next team - Marcus Thompson II - Oakland Tribune