Friday, February 21, 2014
Starting Five: Should the Nets sign Collins?
By Mike Mazzeo
“We probably [will look] into rebounding and defense ... sometimes when you add a defensive guy, and if they box out, they may not get the rebound, they keep the other guy out [or from getting] the rebound. It may not be just a guy that is a pure rebounder.”
Brooklyn Nets GM Billy King may not have referred to Jason Collins by name in the above quote, but the player King was describing to reporters in a conference call Thursday night sure sounds like Collins.
ESPN.com first-reported Thursday that the Nets had worked out the Collins in Los Angeles this week, and were considering signing him to a 10-day contract.
Collins would become the first-ever active openly gay player in NBA history. But, as King said, the Nets want someone who can help them on the basketball court.
And Collins, once teammates with current Brooklyn coach Jason Kidd in New Jersey, should be able to do that.
While the 35-year-old veteran may not be the most skilled or athletic player, Collins became known around the league for his ability to do the little things like communicating on defense, boxing out, setting solid screens and mentoring younger pros.
“When we don’t talk, we obviously look like trash, play like dirt,” Kevin Garnett said after Wednesday’s win in Utah. “When we’re talking and communicating and playing as one, it’s very hard to stop us.”
Garnett, 37, has done a phenomenal job quarterbacking Brooklyn’s defense -- the advanced statistics bare that out -- and Paul Pierce said recently that arguably the team’s biggest weakness is its defense when Garnett sits/rests.
That’s where Collins could make his biggest impact, perhaps starting when Garnett gets a day off and playing more minutes than you would expect. No, he obviously can’t move or jump like KG, but Collins can communicate.
Seems like Collins would be an asset to the Nets.
Question: Do you think the Nets should sign Collins? Let us know in the comments section:
In case you missed it: The Nets didn’t do anything Thursday, but that doesn’t mean they won’t.
Up next: The Nets practice in San Francisco Friday ahead of Saturday night’s game against the Golden State Warriors.