Jason Collins Openly Gay Update: Collins Gets State of the Union Address Invite From Michelle Obama But Still Can't Land NBA Job [VIDEO]
It may have ended his NBA career, but it also got him an invitation to watch the State of the Union address live.
Several media outlets reported that Collins, who is being called the first active, openly gay NBA player despite the fact that he has not played a game since his announcement last spring, attended President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday night as a guest of first lady Michelle Obama.
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Politico.com posted a story reporting that Michelle Obama has created a tradition of inviting guests whose personal stories help highlight a particular topic in the address. Two survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings, GM CEO Mary Barra - the first woman to lead a major auto manufacturer - and an Illinois woman who lost her unemployment benefits also were the first lady's guests.
Collins told ESPN.com that he was honored by the invitation.
"It's a big deal that the administration has extended its hand to not only me, but my family, and also sports fans and also the gay community," he told ESPN's LZ Granderson in an interview Tuesday morning. "I cover a lot of different topics."
Collins also told ESPN that he has kept himself in basketball shape in the hopes that an NBA team will have a need for a big man down the stretch during the 2013-14 season.
"I try to control what I can control and that's how hard I train right now," he said. "I know that I'm in great shape and that if I get an opportunity ... if an owner, coach, GM calls my agent ... I'll be ready to play."
The 7-footer is 35 years old and is considered a "journeyman" player at best. Asked if he thought NBA teams have stayed away so far because of his declaration, Collins deflected any chance at controversy.
I have no idea," he told ESPN. "For me, again, it goes back to what I can control, and that's my training."