The Brooklyn Nets are considering signing Jason Collins — the first American male athlete in one of the four major professional leagues to come out as gay — to a contract, sources tell NBC News.
The Nets had a private workout with Collins during the All-Star Break in Los Angeles, his hometown, the sources said.
Collins who played most of his career with the Nets when they played in New Jersey is reportedly in good shape and is being considered for a 10 day contract, essentially a tryout, the sources said.
Nets general manager Billy King also confirmed the team worked out Collins, and said they are looking for a big man.
At the end of the 2012-2013 NBA season Collins became the first athlete in one of the main four american professional sports leagues (NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL) to come out as gay.
That season the 35-year-old Collins played in 38 games for Boston and Washington but hadn't been particularly productive in recent years.
He has a number of former teammates on the Nets, including coach Jason Kidd, who showed public support for Collins after his revelation.
There was a good deal of positive feedback from players and league officials at the time, but Collins inability to get back in the NBA has raised questions about whether his situation is the result of bias against gays or just his declining skills.
It's notable that the Nets are owned by Russian oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov, who ran against Vladimir Putin in Russia's presidential election two years ago. Putin has been criticized around the world for Russia's anti-gay policies.
— The Associated Press contributed to this story
First published February 20 2014, 4:34 PM
Robert Windrem is an investigative reporter/producer with NBC News. His specialty is international security, on-camera commentary on international security for MSNBC and writer on international security for NBCNews.com
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Winner of 45 national journalism awards, including an Emmy as well as Dupont-Columbia, National Press Club, Sigma Delta Chi, three Edward R. Murrow and eight National Headliners Club awards. He has also been nominated for an Emmy 19 times.
Windrem produced the first report on U.S. television on Osama Bin Laden and al Qaeda in January 1997; produced the first inside look of CIA Headquarters on U.S. television in February 1994; arranged and produced exclusive interviews with Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad in New York in September 2006, and in Tehran in July 2008. He also produced extensive reports on "Nightly News" regarding nuclear proliferation in Israel, South Africa, Iraq and Iran as well as reports on the Mexican drug wars; al Qaeda; US drone attacks in Pakistan, the Boston Marathon bombings, the Washington, D.C., snipers; campaign finance scandals, defense procurement abuse, and intelligence technology, among many others.
He contributed to NBC News documentaries on the war on terrorism, Hurricane Katrina and nuclear strategy.
Windrem co-wrote with William E. Burrows, "Critical Mass: the Dangerous Race for Superweapons in a Fragmenting World", Simon & Schuster, New York, 1994.
He has appeared more than 300 times as an expert on national security issues on MSNBC, NBC News and CNBC as well as CBC in Canada, BBC in the UK, Channel 2 in Israel and ABC in Australia. Most recently he served as a consultant on an Israeli TV documentary on Arnon Milchan, the Hollywood producer and arms dealer.
He is a graduate of Seton Hall University with a degree in communications arts. He also pursued a graduate degree in American Studies at Seton Hall.