Friday And-1 Links: What have we learned from Jason Collins?

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Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points like kids love pizza….

• Jason Collins is not on an NBA team as we approach the start of the season. Is that because he provides a limited skill set — defense in the post — as the NBA wants bigs who stretch the floor, is it because he’s older, or is it because he came out as openly gay last summer? In our “if you read one NBA thing today make it this” file is Friday’s post from Kevin Arnovitz (one of the best NBA writers around) at ESPN, the answer is not simple. It’s a little bit of everything.

League trends aside, nearly a dozen execs say privately that the media glare that would come with a Collins signing just isn’t worth the distraction to most teams. Locker rooms are fragile places already and not always receptive to change, and though NBA players as a whole are extremely professional with the media, it’s not their favorite half hour of the day. The easier it is, the better. If he were a rotation player or better, the thinking goes, the cost/benefit analysis might produce a different outcome.

In other words, the market for Collins would be bigger if he weren’t openly gay.

• Andrea Bargnani returns with the Knicks to Toronto on Friday. Raptors coach Dwane Casey’s advice? “Buy earplugs.”

• The latest “Licenced to Lillard” video is out, and Damian Lillard looks back on his rookie season and talks about getting ready for year two.

Duke has become the first university program to put in the Sports VU motion tracking cameras (which will be in all NBA arenas this year).

Larry Bird didn’t expect to be back with the Pacers quite so quickly, but he’s glad he took a year off.

• In case you missed it, Portland’s Thomas Robinson was ejected from Wednesday’s preseason game, although apparently it was pretty ticky-tack.

• JaVale McGee was buying Nuggets fans donuts.

• My favorite new tumblr: stories from New York/Times Square hotel concierges.

Red Auerbach’s daughter says her father would never have traded both Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. I don’t know, by all accounts Red was pretty much an old-school hard ass.

• Finally, Yahoo’s Marc Spears swung by NBC Sports Network’s Sports Dash on Friday to talk the upcoming NBA season.