The easy answer would be because he’s gay.
I mean that would fit the ongoing narrative that many are trying to push. “Why would teams want to sign a gay player?” “Players would feel uncomfortable in the locker room with him.” “Is he worth the media that’ll come with signing him?”
Lazy narratives. Truth is Jason Collins just isn’t that good a NBA player. But that lends to the pointing out of other bad NBA players on NBA teams. I can think of several NBA players that makes one wonder how they still have a job in this business, but I’m not general manager, so it doesn’t matter much. His biggest strength is defending back-to-the-basket players. The league is shifting and there are less of those than there was during Collin’s prime. With the way teams are defending and being allowed to defend, one-on-one defense just isn’t a priority at the moment. And ask yourself this: when building a team would you rather invest your money into a 34 year old one-dimensional center or a 20-something year old big man with upside?
Since the 2006-07 season, which was the last time Collins averaged more than 20 minutes per, the big man has averaged 1.6 points and 1.9 rebounds per game.
Yet, I don’t think talent is all the reason why he’s unemployed at the moment.
The problem is that in a time where NBA owners are being extremely careful with their spendings, attempting to shy away from the luxury tax, Collins’ price tag may be a bit above their budget. Any veteran that has played 10+ years in the NBA has to be paid a minimum of $1.39 million according to Larry Coon’s CBA Faq. That’s a lot of money invested in a player who’ll never touch the floor. An undrafted rookie could be signed for a small price of $490K to do the same thing that Collins will do: sit on the bench.
It’s the media’s job to push agenda’s. If he think being a homosexual male is the reason he isn’t in the league at the comment then let him think that. He’s wrong. And those who agree with him on the notion are wrong also.
Best-case scenario is that some team in the NBA will give Collins a chance toward the end of the season as they prepare for the playoffs and feel the need to have a post defender for situational moments.
Worst-case is that no one offers him a job because he isn’t worth that $1.3 million and just isn’t good.
But of course narratives must be pushed. Just do go about thinking this man doesn’t have a job because he’s gay. Because that’s wrong.