NBA Notes: Jason Collins calls support 'incredible'

NBA Notes: Jason Collins calls support 'incredible'
April 30, 2013, 7:45 pm
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Our Sixers player evaluations continue as we look at Evan Turner's season (see player evaluation).

Here is a look at the news around the NBA:

Collins calls support 'incredible'
Jason Collins said he has gotten "incredible" support since coming out as the first openly gay player in one of the four major U.S. pro sports leagues, and hopes he may have made the path easier for others to follow.

Collins sat down for an interview that was aired by ABC's "Good Morning America" on Tuesday, one day after the veteran NBA center revealed his sexuality in a first-person story posted on Sports Illustrated's website.

"I think, I know, in my personal life, I'm ready and I think the country is ready for supporting an openly gay basketball player," Collins told ABC's George Stephanopoulos.

ABC aired the interview in two segments, with Stephanopoulos asking Collins in the second portion if he hoped that other players will follow his example.

"I hope that every player makes a decision that leads to their own happiness, whatever happiness that is in life," Collins responded. "I know that I, right now, am the happiest that I've ever been in my life."

Collins said he went through something akin to a 12-step program while deciding to come out, dealing with emotions such as anger and denial.

"But when you finally get to that point of acceptance, there's nothing more beautiful than just allowing yourself to really be happy and be comfortable in your own skin," Collins said.

Dozens of NBA players sent messages to Collins after the story was posted Monday, many doing so through social media. The support didn't stop there, with President Barack Obama also calling to offer his support (see full story).

Kidd wins NBA sportsmanship award
NEW YORK -- New York Knicks guard Jason Kidd has become the first player to win back-to-back NBA sportsmanship awards.

Kidd received 91 first-place votes from league players and 2,474 total points Tuesday to claim the Joe Dumars Trophy in his first season in New York. He won the award last season, his final one in Dallas.

Three-time winner Grant Hill is only other player to win the award multiple times.

The NBA will make a $10,000 donation on behalf of Kidd to The Jason Kidd Foundation, which is dedicated to improving education for youngsters.

Golden State guard Stephen Curry, who won the award in 2011, finished second. Luol Deng of Chicago, the 2007 winner, was third.

Gallinari has meniscus repaired
DENVER -- The Denver Nuggets say forward Danilo Gallinari underwent surgery to repair meniscus in his left knee and will later have another procedure to fix his ACL.

The operation on his meniscus was performed Monday at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colo. He will go through rehabilitation on the knee before a date is scheduled to repair the ACL.

Gallinari was hurt on April 4 against Dallas when he planted his left leg awkwardly while going in for a layup. The knee buckled and he went down, screaming in pain.

The Nuggets have missed Gallinari in the playoffs against the Golden State Warriors. He averaged career-highs in points (16.2) and rebounds (5.2) this season. He also led the team with 135 3-pointers.

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