The fact that Jason Collins came out of the closet and announced to the world that he’s gay has nothing to do with the fact that no NBA team wants to sign him. At his age, ability and skill set, he simply isn’t good enough for anyone to use a roster spot on.
It doesn’t mean that being such a huge distraction, media-wise, is an incentive for teams to sign him. But things would be different if Collins wasn’t someone who last played more than 49 games in an NBA season in the 2007-2008 season.
Everyone needs a guy with some ability to defend in the post? Not that much. Post scorers are a rare breed these days, and teams who do play with traditional big man prefer someone who is simply a plaint-clogger; a guy who is big enough to deter slashers from driving into the paint. If Collins was some defensive specialist it would be another issue, but he simply isn’t that good, and hasn’t been for quite a while.
At the height of his career, Collins averaged 6.4 points per game, but that happened nearly a decade ago. He put up only 0.7 points per game in nine minutes a night for the Washington Wizards late last season. His dressing room influence was noted, but that’s just not a big enough reason to sign a player. Collins has been the 13th, 14th and 15th guy on NBA roster for over four-five seasons now. At some point, the credit for size and your earlier NBA days runs out.
The NBA career of Jason Collins still isn’t over. Teams still pick up players after the season has begun. The Washington Wizards might be interested in eventually bringing him, although they do have 15 signed players, which means someone will be released to make room, which isn’t that likely. The Brooklyn Nets have shown some interest, but it’s probably reserved for further down the line, if someone in their rather aging frontcourt gets injured. There’s also the Clippers option, who only have one backup center in Ryan Hollins, and have Jarron Collins, Jason’s brother, working as a scout for the team.
But there’s no homophobia keepins teams from signing Jason Collins. In fact, the fact that he’s been able to raise his profile through his announcement a few months ago might be the thing that actually keeps him in the league, even if he isn’t good enough to remain in it anymore.