Jason Collins, who in 2013 became the first active player in a major North American pro sports league to be openly gay, is considering retiring from the NBA, according to Marcus Thompson II of the Oakland Tribune.
Jason Collins is probably done with professional basketball. And he should be.
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.
“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 Monday night at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre for the Commonwealth Club’s latest Inforum conversation.
“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.”
The good news for Collins is that his legacy now goes far beyond what he can do on the court and he’ll still be a role model and able to help others long after he hangs ‘em up.
As Thompson notes, this is probably the right time for Collins to retire. He appeared in 22 games last season with the Brooklyn Nets and averaged just 1.1 points and .9 rebounds per game. While he’s had a successful 13 years in the league, there’s not much he can bring to the table for a team now.
Collins is currently spreading positive messages on the speaking circuit and that’s probably where he’s most useful at this point of his life.