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Jason Collins, an 11-year NBA veteran who played for the Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics this past regular season, just became the first openly gay athlete in one of North America's four major men's professional sports leagues. Collins, now 34, was an All-American at Stanford University before being taken in the first round of the 2001 draft by the Houston Rockets. He's played for a half-dozen NBA teams during his career and is much more of a journeyman than a star. (He's averaged fewer than four points per game as a pro, and he played only sparingly in recent seasons). Still, that matters little today. He made it official in a first-person piece in Sports Illustrated:
I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay.
I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, "I'm different." If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand.
Collins played alongside his twin brother, Jarron, at Stanford. Jarron, also an NBA vet, apparently had no idea of his brother's secret until last year:
I didn't come out to my brother until last summer. His reaction to my breakfast revelation was radically different from Aunt Teri's. He was downright astounded. He never suspected. So much for twin telepathy. But by dinner that night, he was full of brotherly love. For the first time in our lives, he wanted to step in and protect me.
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In fact, there's a pretty good chance you were actually at the wedding of the 50-year-old NBA legend and the 35-year-old former model from Cuba, or at least the lavish reception held at a private golf club in Jupiter near Jordan's home.
Somewhere between 300 and 500 guests were transported by tour buses to the ceremony Saturday at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church.
What? You weren't there squished between Tiger Woods and Spike Lee, trying to somehow peer around Patrick Ewing to get a view of the happy couple who decided to tie the knot after five years of dating?
Well, then surely you were among the 2,000 to 2,200 guests in what JeffRealty.com is calling "the largest tent in wedding history" -- 40,000 square feet, which made it 5,000 square feet larger than Jordan's nearby home -- for the reception.
OK, neither was I. Even for an event this big, I guess it was pretty exclusive -- family members, celebrities, people who helped the groom win NBA titles, those sorts.
So don't feel too bad about being left out. It's not our fault they didn't get a bigger tent.
Kim Kardashian wants her friends to know ... SHE DOESN'T NEED YOUR BABY GIFTS ... but there's a hospital in Chicago that sure does.
The doctor is in — prison.
But Michael Jackson’s jailed personal physician still insists the platinum-selling singer’s drug overdose death wasn’t his fault.
“I am sorry that I lost Michael as a friend and a patient,” Dr. Conrad Murray told the “Today” show Friday in a phone interview from his California cell.
“I have lost a very dear friend and a dear person to me, and it’s going to remain with me for the rest of my life, but I’m not going to accept responsibility for anything I did not do.”
Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the “Thriller” singer’s 2009 death, and sentenced to four years in prison.
Jackson’s death was caused primarily by “acute intoxication” from propofol, a powerful anesthetic. The sedative Lorazepam was another factor, and an autopsy also found traces in his system of four other drugs — two sedatives, a painkiller and a stimulant.
Murray insisted that he tried to keep Jackson away from propofol — but the chart-topping performer kept his own stash of the medication.
“I tried to get rid of the propofol from Michael Jackson,” Murray insisted. “He might not have liked the approach I took, but nonetheless the circumstances were to actually get him away from the (drug).”
Murray could appear as a witness in the wrongful death lawsuit brought by Jackson family matriarch Katherine and Michael’s three children against AEG Live.
The company was the promoter of the late entertainer’s doomed “This Is It” tour. Jackson, 50, died in his Los Angeles home on June 25, 2009.
NBC wants to parody Kim Kardashian during the season finale of Saturday Night Live and that has musical guest Kanye West worried that his baby mama will be raked over the coals, RadarOnline.com has learned exclusively.
“Kanye as musical guest is a great get for SNL, but of course the writers want to push the envelope and take advantage of it with a Kim Kardashian skit,” an insider at NBC told Radar.
“That’s not unusual since her famous family has been spoofed before with some very hilarious and spot-on impersonations of a whining Kim. They have to tread lightly because Kanye hasn’t been happy with all the flack Kim’s been getting about her pregnancy weight gain.
“It’s definitely going to be a challenge – the writers don’t want to piss off Kanye so they’re prepared not to cross the line, but they will go as far as they can.”
According to the source, the producers are desperate to spoof the famous and pregnant reality star, but they’re being careful not to cause any “creative differences” with Kanye.
“The writers are pushing real hard for an over-the-top skit and the producers are there to reel them right back in if they go too far. Normally the writers have free reign and just go for it, but there has to be some boundaries when your musical guest is Kanye and he’s super sensitive about the constant Kim bashing,” adds the source.
“They’ve come up with a win-win scenario where Kim actually gets a cameo at the end of the skit. That would probably make everyone in Kanye’s camp — and especially Kim — very happy.”
Kanye, 35, will perform during the May 18 finale which will be hosted by Argo director and star Ben Affleck.
Allen Iverson is in bad shape. Not, bad meaning “good”, but “bad” meaning bad. According to a new piece in the Washington Post the iconic NBA baller “has hit rock bottom” and there are many people who love him, and are concerned about h
Three years after Iverson’s last NBA game, the spotlight has shifted from his play to his flaws. His refusal back then to play by society’s rules was seen as an independent player’s quirks, part of the character and the brand, same as his cornrows and tattoos.
Practicing with hangovers added to the legend. Skipping team functions and refusing to obey the league’s dress code was a man who wouldn’t be held down. And embarrassing defenders on the way to the basket, in the NBA and before that at Georgetown, was a nightly statement by the 6-foot, 165-pound guard: If a man, no matter his size, is determined enough, he can get the better of giants.
But Iverson isn’t a basketball player anymore. This is something most everyone but Iverson has accepted, and for years a question worried those closest to him: What happens when the most important part of a man’s identity, the beam supporting the other unstable matter, is no longer there?
For the past three years, as Iverson chased an NBA comeback, his marriage fell apart and much of his fortune – he earned more than $150 million in salary alone during his career – dissolved. Now, those who once ignored past signals have recognized that basketball may have been the only thing holding Iverson’s life together.
“He has hit rock bottom, and he just hasn’t accepted it yet,” says former Philadelphia teammate Roshown McLeod.
As sad as that sounds, nothing can compare to the scene described during Iverson’s divorce trial in 2012.
Iverson stood during a divorce proceeding in Atlanta in 2012 and pulled out his pants pockets. “I don’t even have money for a cheeseburger,” he shouted toward his estranged wife, Tawanna, who then handed him $61.
To make matters worse, alcholism has been said to be a major contributor to A.I.’s spiraling struggle.
Tawanna testified that during a 2009 family vacation in Orlando, Iverson spent evenings with a friend while his family made plans without him. On the day they were to fly home, Iverson nursed a hangover in a van, lying on the floor with a foot draped on the seat. While their children saw a movie, Tawanna sat for hours with her husband, afraid if he was left alone the driver would take photographs.
Hopefully someone can reach out to Allen to help him get his life together. Despite how bad his situation is, there is a silver lining in Iverson’s playbook.
Basketball was Iverson’s sanctuary, and he signed huge contracts: a six-year deal in 1999 worth $70.9 million and, four years later, a new agreement worth $76.7 million. Reebok signed him to a huge endorsement deal, including a deferred trust worth more than $30 million, a lump sum he can’t touch until he turns 55.
It’s a LONG time to wait, but if the braided-baller can hold on just 18 more years, there just might be some hope.
As bad as many people feel for A.I. it appears that all his wounds are self-inflicted. Iverson’s ignorance, lack of responsibility, and a general I-don’t-give-a-fawk demeanor makes it hard to feel too bad for him. That said, Iverson was one of the greatest basketball players that most of us have ever seen grace the court, it’s a shame that won’t be the way we remember him.