No D-League draft for Jason Collins
As Jason Collins awaits the phone call that would allow him to relaunch his NBA career, he has ruled out playing in another country or in the NBA Development League as a means to stay sharp, according to source familiar with his thinking.
The source told ESPN.com that Collins, at 34, remains convinced that he's an NBA player and would prefer to continue his accelerated workout regimen at home in the Los Angeles area ahead of potential opportunities to join a team in the league this season as opposed to trying to play elsewhere.
ESPN.com has learned that Collins -- who in April became the first publicly gay athlete in North America's four major team sports -- was extended the opportunity to submit his name for Friday night's D-League draft in a similar fashion to familiar NBA names such as Ricky Davis and Quincy Douby.
But Collins has decided to wait for fresh NBA interest after summer talks with the Detroit Pistons did not progress to a serious level.
In an interview with ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne last month, former NBA center and current Los Angeles Clippers scout Jarron Collins -- Collins' twin -- said his brother was working out for three hours daily and adding more running to his usual offseason weightlifting and plyometrics routines. And it can be argued that the merits of a stint for Collins in the D-League, with game conditions generally regarded as more favorable for guards and wing players than big men, are debatable.
"He's in the best shape of his life," Jarron Collins said. "I've never seen him as physically strong as he is now. So from that standpoint, he's good to go if he's given the opportunity and I'm optimistic he will. It's one of those things where you just have to see."
In the same interview, Jarron Collins added: "My brother and I feel that the NBA is for the best of the best who play basketball in the world and my brother considers himself to be amongst that group. People's opinions are going to vary ... obviously people have different opinions about that. But that's my brother's opinion."
ESPN.com reported on multiple occasions in October that among the factors that prevented Jason Collins from being invited to a team's training camp is the fear many teams have of the relentless media attention their players and coaches would be subjected to after signing Collins following his announcement in the spring.
Another issue is the dwindling number of low-post scorers in the modern NBA -- which negates the post defense Collins is best known for -- but there are some league executives who continue to believe that Collins will find a team in the NBA in January once 10-day contracts can be signed.
"Conditioning won't be a factor in a team's decision," Collins told ESPN.com's Kevin Arnovitz recently. "I'm making sure that my health won't be a liability."
"All it takes is one team," Collins said. "One owner, one team. We'll see what happens."
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