Mark Cuban vehemently let the world know Monday night how he feels about Jason Collins becoming the first openly gay player to participate in one of the four major professional sports in the United States.
“I don’t [care] about a guy’s sexuality,” the Dallas Mavericks’ owner said. “Period. End of story.”
The Brooklyn Nets signed Collins to a 10-day contract early Sunday and later that night he recorded no points, two rebounds and one steal in 11 minutes during a 108-102 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. Cuban, however, attempted to downplay the significance of Collins’ appearance with the Nets.
“I think it’s no big deal and that’s exactly the way it should be,” Cuban said. “It shouldn’t have been a big deal, it wasn’t a big deal and move on.
“Nothing to talk about. I think at some point it’s nothing to talk about and now it’s nothing to talk about.’’
Forward Vince Carter, who was a teammate of Collins with the Nets from 2004-08, understands why water coolers across America are buzzing with discussions about Brooklyn’s newest player.
“It’s new, it’s the hot topic, so we’re going to be asked about it,” Carter said. “I understand why, but at the time it was said, it’s done with, he’s played his game, we understand he’s the first player, openly gay player and all that.
“I think it’s time to move on.”
Guard Devin Harris said that Collins’ contributions on the basketball court should be the focus over what he does off the court.
“He’s still solid in what he does — hard fouls, rebounding, things that he’s been doing his whole career,” Harris said. “It just happens to be that he’s gay.
“But I think he’s still a great person and obviously a good basketball player.”
Cuban said the Mavs considered signing Collins to a free-agent contract last summer, but the discussions didn’t go far.
“We were looking for younger guys, so it wasn’t really a fit for us,” Cuban said. “But that was a basketball decision.”
Cuban applauds Silver
Cuban commended new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver for his actions on officiating and transparency.
“I think he’s taken some great steps on the officiating,” Cuban said. “There’s been more changes in 15 days, or whatever it is, than I saw in 14 years.
“So I like what he’s doing there. I don’t see a lot, but the few things I’ve seen have been very positive.”
Silver replaced David Stern on Feb. 1. Cuban has lobbied for the NBA to offer more transparency in officiating.
Cuban said the NBA has been “sending out reports, proactive reports, being transparent on calls proactively. Those are things that never would have happened [under Stern].”