The New York Knicks have become the latest team to pass on signing veteran free-agent center Jason Collins, according to sources familiar with the team's thinking. The 34-year-old journeyman had been touted as an option to help replace Knicks center Tyson Chandler, who fractured his right fibula on Tuesday night in a game against the Bobcats. Chandler is expected to be out at least a month.
Seven months ago, in a Sports Illustrated cover story, Collins became the first active athlete in one of the four major team sports to announce he was gay. The 7-footer hasn't played since the revelation, which was made during the opening round of the NBA playoffs.
This summer Collins worked out with the Detroit Pistons in the hope of filling out the end of their bench. But Pistons president Joe Dumars ultimately signed a younger, cheaper big man in Josh Harrellson instead.
Drafted out of Stanford by the New Jersey Nets in 2001, Collins has also played with the Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves and Atlanta Hawks. He split last season between the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards. In 12 seasons, Collins has averaged 3.6 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.
Collins will turn 35 on Dec. 2. Currently training in his hometown of Los Angeles, he says he has no interest in playing overseas or in another domestic league.