Newly out NBA center Jason Collins and his twin brother Jarron will be guests on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on May 15.
Collins became the first openly gay NBA player when he came out in a Sports Illustrated article last week – and ABC has been on him ever since, with “Good Morning America” scoring the first TV interview with the free agent last Tuesday.
Kimmel will be his first late-night stop, and of course, ABC News and the network’s sibling station ESPN (under Disney) have all had exclusive access. Folks are betting that an invite for next season’s “Dancing With the Stars” will come soon.
Washington Wizards center Jason Collins, who became the first openly gay athlete in a major American team sport when he revealed his sexuality on Monday, gave his first post-closet interview to ABC News, calling his pioneer status “mind-boggling.”
“I never set out to be the first,” Collins told “Good Morning America” anchor George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview Monday night. The full Q&A aired this morning on “GMA.” [Scroll down to watch.]
By shattering one of the final barriers in American sports, Collins said he hopes other gay athletes will follow his lead.
“You’re sort of waiting around for somebody else to … raise their hand,” he said. “I’m ready to raise my hand but, you know, you still look around like, ‘OK, come on, guys.’ It’s time for someone else in the room to raise their hand and say, ‘You know what? Yeah, so big deal. I can still play basketball. I can still help the team win, and that’s what’s most important.’”
Collins revealed his homosexuality in an article published on Sports Illustrated’s website Monday.
“I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay,” Collins wrote in the Sports Illustrated article. After it was was published, Collins received tremendous support for his announcement from the White House, the NBA and current and former teammates.
“It’s incredible. You just try to live an honest, genuine life and next thing you know you have the president calling you,” Collins told ABC News.
Collins, who has played for six teams over the course of 12 years, said he felt it was the right time to publicly come out before he began to refocus on his next season. He will officially become a free agent this summer and wants to keep playing in the NBA.
“I still love the game, and I still have something to offer. My coaches and teammates recognize that,” he wrote in Sports Illustrated. “At the same time, I want to be genuine and authentic and truthful.”
Collins predicted the news may come as a shock to NBA players, many of whom he has counted as teammates over the course of his career.
“I go against the gay stereotype, which is why I think a lot of players will be shocked: That guy is gay? But I’ve always been an aggressive player, even in high school,” he wrote.
While Collins didn’t expect to be a trailblazer, he said he was “happy to start the conversation” about being an openly gay athlete.
But he also has some serious business ahead of him — training for his 13th season in the NBA.
“In the pros, the older you get, the better shape you must be in,” he wrote. “Next season a few more eyeballs are likely to be on me. That only motivates me to work harder.”
Two-time Super Bowl champion and retired Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis has taken the next step of his career and has officially joined ESPN as a NFL analyst.
If you thought Super Bowl XLVII was the last time you would see Ray Lewis, you were completely wrong. Even before he made his retirement concrete, there was speculation that he would eventually go on to become a sports commentator and Lewis confirmed his new position today.
Expect to see a lot of Lewis during football season as he will make appearances on ESPN’s football lineup on shows like “Monday Night Countdown,” “Sunday NFL Countdown,” and “SportsCenter.” If that wasn’t enough, he will also have a weekly segment on radio show “Mike and Mike in the Morning.”
In a statement, Ray Lewis spoke on his new role with the sports network.
“ESPN is such a big part of how fans watch and experience sports, especially the NFL, so I’m excited to join their team. I’m ready to bring the same level of passion to this next phase of my life as I brought to the field during my years as a player. I can’t wait to work with my new teammates, many of whom I’ve already known for years.”
In very sad news, Los Angeles Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss has passed away at the age of 79.
Last week, it was reported that Buss had been hospitalized for an extended period of time due to an undisclosed form of cancer. Unfortunately, today, the longtime Lakers owner passed away due to complications from the illness.
Buss purchased the Lakers in 1979 and went on to win 10 championships with the team, 5 of them being with star player Kobe Bryant. Over this past NBA All Star Weekend, Kobe commented on Dr. Buss’ condition and what the owner meant to him:
Yeah, (Buss) has been on my mind, that’s been on my mind for a while. I’m just trying to stay, gotta stay positive.
“He means everything to me. He took a chance on a 17-year-old kid coming out of Philadelphia when nobody really saw that potential. He believed in me the entire way.”
Did Kevin Garnett basically announce his retirement from the NBA last night?
After a tough 71-69 win against the Chicago Bulls, Garnett spoke with reporters and said that this weekend’s All Star game would probably be his last. According to the Boston Herald:
Kevin Garnett said last night that his 14th All-Star Game appearance on Sunday in Houston will also be his last, though the Celtics forward stopped short of saying he was retiring at the end of the season. Garnett, realizing he had just set off an alarm, then turned cryptic. He has two years remaining on his contract. “This is definitely my last All-Star Game,” he said. “Ya’ll don’t know what I know. I’m more than grateful, and I’m not going to act like I have more All-Star Games in me. I’ll enjoy this one with friends and family. That’s what I meant.”
Kevin also went on to say that this season has been trying for him and the Boston Celtics‘ team.
“The last four or five days have been exhausting. Mentally more than physical. The three overtimes against Denver was emotionally draining, the travel, having to come in here and prepare after losing to Charlotte, so yeah, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind.”
Is this a sign of Kevin hanging ending his lengthy career a little earlier than expected? Check out video of Kevin’s comments below.
Super Bowl XLVII, which featured Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Beyonce, a blackout that caused a 30 minute delay, and an intense game that had the Baltimore Ravens top the San Francisco 49ers, has made history.
According to CBS, this year’s Super Bowl has set a ratings record, becoming the most watched game in Nielsen history. In a press release, CBS Sports revealed that the game “earned an average overnight household rating/share of 48.1/71,” which means that 1 out of 2 televisions in the country was tuned in.
Check out the top 10 cities with the highest ratings for last night’s game. Surprise, look who’s at #1!
Top 10 Rated in the Metered Markets 1. Baltimore 2. New Orleans 3. Washington, DC 4. Norfolk 5. Dayton 6. Columbus, OH 7. Indianapolis 8. Richmond-Petersburg 9. Milwaukee 10. Jacksonville
Rob Parker and ESPN have parted ways after his infamous “cornball brother” comments.
Parker was suspended for 30 days in December after he appeared on “First Take” criticizing Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, claiming Griffin was distancing himself from being African American. Parker took things a bit further and made comments on Griffin’s white fiancé and braids, and labeled the rookie quarterback as a “cornball brother.”
Yesterday, ESPN’s Vice President of Communications Mike Soltys announced that Parker’s suspension had turned into a permanent vacation as the network had decided to not renew his contract, which expired at the end of last year.
Parker didn’t make things any better for himself when he sat down with ClickedOnDetroit’s “Flashpoint”segment where he seemingly stood by what he said. But it appears that his interview didn’t even matter. According to Sports Business Daily’s John Ourand, ESPN had already made up its mind before the interview to not renew Parker’s contract.
Shortly before his RG3 comments, Rob Parker had been brought on to ESPN to host the Saturday edition of “First Take.”
There was a whole lot of talking on the court at last night’s game between the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics. More specifically, a constant (probably unfriendly) conversation between Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett.
During the fourth quarter, Melo and Garnett continuously went at each other with hard fouls that mostly went uncalled and endless trash talk between the two. Eventually, they both were given technical fouls for their behavior, but Melo might have taken things a step further.
According to several reports, he waited outside of the Celtics’ locker room for Garnett and did the same near the team’s bus. ESPN reports:
“It was like being in the schoolyard,” said one witness to the incident.
The two stars did not come to blows, according to a police source. But Anthony was still hot after getting into a confrontation with Garnett in the fourth quarter of the Celtics’ win that resulted in a double technical.
After the game, Anthony angrily walked off the floor and out of the tunnel that visiting teams use to exit the floor, instead of exiting out of the Knicks’ tunnel.
Tyson Chandler appeared to try to stop Anthony, but he blew by the Knicks center. According to one of the sources with knowledge of the incident, Anthony approached the Celtics’ locker room and was screaming. It is unclear whether his ire at the time was directed at Garnett.
Anthony approached Garnett near the Celtics’ team bus. MSG security and the police intervened, according to a source.
We all know sources can be a little iffy, but here’s footage of Carmelo waiting outside of the Celtics’ bus. Rajon Rondo, who was suspend during last night’s game due to contact with a referee in a previous game, can be seen walking up and stopping to stare at Carmelo near the end of the video.
Boston coach Doc Rivers also basically confirmed what is speculated to have taken place.
“I’m going to let y’all figure that one out. I’m going to stay out of that. If it was the playoffs, I’d tell on him, but since it’s not, I’m going to just be quiet.”
Here is the on-court trash talk that sparked the off court incident.
For his own part, Garnett downplayed the situation after the game to the media, saying:
“Listen, heat of the battle, man, guys throw back and forth. He’s trying to get his team to go; I’m trying to get my team to go. Both teams are colliding. Not to mention that it’s the Knicks and the Celtics. Just what it is.”
The Knicks and Celtics will meet up once again on January 24 in Boston.
The question of whether or not Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis would retire after this season has been up in the air, until now.
Lewis, a no doubt Hall of Fame candidate, announced his retirement from the NFL earlier today, confirming speculation that this would be his last season playing professional football after 17 years.
He told teammates and coaches that “this will be my last ride,” meaning, Sunday’s wildcard game at M&T Bank Stadium against the Indianapolis Colts would be his final home game in Baltimore. Afterwards, Lewis made his stunning announcement in front of a room full of press. The Ravens’ official website reports:
Lewis informed his teammates of his decision in a team meeting Wednesday morning, telling them it was time to be men and that everything comes to an end. Lewis realized he wanted to with his family when he returned home to Florida for rehab.
“It’s amazing and it’s sad all at the same time,” outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said.
“I can’t picture Baltimore without him,” an emotional Ray Rice said. “Baltimore is Ray Lewis.”
Lewis has been out since October when he suffered a torn triceps injury. If he plays Sunday, it will be his first time back on the field. Without question, one of the best players of all time.
Robert Griffin III has had one heck of a rookie season. He is close to breaking Michael Vick’s rookie rushing record and he is also doing it through the air, compiling 2,902 yards to date with a 104.2 quarterback rating.
You would think that would be enough for people to praise him for what he has done. But unfortunately, that is not the reality that we live in. Griffin III, when asked a question about race by USA Today, said:
“For me, you don’t ever want to be defined by the color of your skin. You want to be defined by your work ethic, the person that you are, your character, your personality. That’s what I’ve tried to go out and do. I am an African-American in America. That will never change. But I don’t have to be defined by that.”
Apparently, those comments ruffled the feathers of sports journalist Rob Parker. Appearing on popular ESPN show “First Take” Thursday morning, Parker unleashed these comments in regards to the quotes of Griffin III:
Rob Parker should be ashamed of himself. Instead of applauding RGIII for what he has done this year and how he has carried himself, he questioned his blackness. These comments were very uncalled for by Parker. In this instance, Griffin has done nothing wrong at all. He is just being who he is and for that, he should be applauded. He has been a good example of professionalism and leadership unlike some professional players that stay in trouble time and time again. If anything, Parker should listen to his own words and get to know RGIII before making assumptions about him. If you don’t know him, how can you draw conclusions about his character and what he represents? In the end, Parker comes across as a guy that has a deep-seeded issue with RGIII and is looking for any reason to express it.
Rob Parker went on to mention that RGIII has a white fiancée. Parker also hinted that RGIII has braids to enhance his blackness. All of these comments were irrelevant. This was just another attempt by Parker trying to make bold statements to garner some attention. For all that don’t know, Parker once called Hank Aaron a coward for being in attendance when Barry Bonds broke his homerun record and he also went in on Kirk Cousins while he was at Michigan State for getting in a fight with hockey players when Cousins was actually at church with his parents (Parker was suspended for that).
Parker may want to save some of this venom for someone who deserves it. He should know by now that his outlandish comments are not making him look very good. Parker may have called Griffin a “cornball brother” but he came across looking like the idiotic brother on this one.
What are your thoughts on Rob Parker’s words for Robert Griffin III?
UPDATE:Josh Krulewitz, vice president of ESPN’s public relations, has announced that Rob Parker has been suspended for his comments.