How would an openly gay NBA player be received in the NBA?
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, in an interview with TMZ said he expects it to happen within the next three to five years (via USA Today and SLAM)
“I think it will be more of a media sensation when someone comes out than it will be a player issue.”
That player, when he comes out, is going to have to be willing to be in the spotlight for cultural issues and not just a basketball player. There will be some hate thrown his way from the stands and a few players, but the bigger distraction likely will be interviews before and after every game and a lot of off-the-court demands for time.
As for the locker room reaction, while there may be a few who speak ill, I think the reaction of most players will be that of most people when they learn someone they know is gay — “He’s gay? I had no idea. Cool guy, doesn’t really change what I think of him.” And in this case, if the guy can help a team win on the court the vast majority of players will accept him almost instantly. That said, it will change locker room language, where a gay slur is commonly thrown around as an insult. That is starting to change, the pace would pick up much faster.
Attitudes are changed because some players may not realize they know a gay person and when they find out they do they understand said person is no different than they are in almost every way. They accept them as a player and person. It’s how change is made, not with broad sweeping gestures but one person at a time.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.