About Last Night: Collins’s Courage

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images Jason Collins

In case you were busy eating all of the pretzels just because they were there, here’s what you missed in sports on Monday:

  • Free-agent NBA center Jason Collins became the first active member of a major American professional sports league to come out as openly gay. This was a brave decision, but rather than go on at length (as others have already done so eloquently here at Grantland), I’ll just add a celebratory drum solo from Collins’s high school backup, Jason Segel.
  • The Brooklyn Nets took care of business at home, beating the Chicago Bulls, 110-91, to force a return trip to Chicago. Brook Lopez, who led the Nets with 28 points and added 10 rebounds, said after the game, “I dedicated my game to fellow tall Stanford alumnus and twin, Jason Collins, for his bravery today. I have nothing but love.” Lopez then hung his head and added, “Unfortunately, I let him down by amassing a large number of points and rebounds. If you’re listening, Jason, I’m sorry. But also, I’m really proud of you. I’ll try to contribute in fewer tangible ways next game.”
  • Despite a massive 38-point performance from Thunder forward Kevin Durant, the Houston Rockets avoided elimination with a 105-103 win at the Toyota Center. After the game, Thunder center Kendrick Perkins, who managed to post a +/- of -17 in only nine minutes on the court, ripped off his jersey, revealing a “Free Russ” T-shirt underneath. Perkins then explained, “In solidarity with my teammate, I’m not gonna play good basketball until my buddy Russell Westbrook is allowed to play again. You can’t suspend guys for tearing up hibiscuses. Those are just flowers, man. David Stern, you’ve gone too far this time!” When told that Westbrook had suffered a torn meniscus and was not suspended, Perkins put his jersey back on and said, “Hmmm, well, it appears I’ve made a fool of myself.”
  • Tim Tebow has been cut by the Jets after just one season in New York. For those of you who don’t know, Tim Tebow is an American football player. He rose to prominence playing quarterback and fullback at the University of Florida. After a successful tenure there, during which he won the Heisman Trophy and two BCS national championships, he was drafted into the NFL by the Denver Broncos. There he played two seasons, during the second of which he won a playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was then traded to the New York Jets for draft considerations, where he played sparingly. That’s pretty much all there is to know about Tim Tebow. Um … yeah …
  • Carlos Corporan had four hits and four RBIs as the Houston Astros pounded Andy Pettitte and the New York Yankees, 9-1, in the Bronx. “Yes, yes, now I know who’s against me,” a crazed Brian Cashman said from his heavily fortified general manager’s office deep in the bowels of Yankee Stadium. “See, it all adds up: Andy Pettitte is from Houston, see, and there’s no way that offense could have scored nine runs off of us if it weren’t an inside job. So Andy Pettitte goes on the list.” Cashman then pulled down a map of 1890s Europe, over which he had scrawled in Sharpie, “Enemies List: A.J. Burnett, The Halal guy on 137th, Mr. Met,” and added Pettitte’s name at the end.
  • Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel bounced back from his first blown save of the season to slam the door on the Washington Nationals in a 3-2 win. “Man, I still can’t believe it,” Kimbrel said after the game. “I gave up two runs. Three hits. A walk. I mean, I don’t think that’s the sort of thing you get over. Today I was a mess out there; I only struck out one. I allowed a fly ball for Pete’s sake. That’s not Craig Kimbrel, man. I don’t even know who I am anymore.”
  • Aston Villa got a critical win in their quest to avoid relegation with a 6-1 victory over fellow relegation candidate Sunderland. PFA Young Player of the Year nominee Christian Benteke, who scored a hat trick for Villa, said after the match, “This is more important than a trophy. Besides, Gareth Bale is a great player, and I understand if he gets it over me. Also, he’s dropped it a bunch of times now. Like, I saw him with it, and he fell over. Then he got up and fell over again. It was weird. I went to give him a hand up, and he pulled me to the ground. We were both slipping and sliding. Anyway, I don’t know what’s wrong with that trophy, but I sure don’t want it now.”
  • The NBA Relocation Committee has recommended that the Sacramento Kings remain in Sacramento, likely halting a deal to move the team to Seattle. As a lifelong Sonics fan and current Seattle resident, let me just say … ahem … uhhh … *eyes glaze over* *heart stops* *loses consciousness* *starts drooling on keyboard* *fingers get shocked from drool sparks* *drool sparks restart heart* *consciousness regained* *eyes roll back into front of head, refocus on computer screen* congratulations to the people of Sacramento. You guys really, really deserve this.

Filed Under: About Last Night, Atlanta Braves, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Houston Astros, Houston Rockets, Kevin Durant, New York Jets, New York Yankees, Oklahoma City Thunder, Sacramento Kings, Tim Tebow, Washington Nationals, Washington Wizards