Shootaround: Jason Collins marches in Boston Pride Parade

 Jason Collins makes good on essay promise, marches proudly

It was only less than two months ago that Jason Collins made history, coming out as the first active gay athlete in a major American sport. The revelation was met with almost universal acceptance and a bit of a shoulder shrug. That is not necessarily a bad thing. It shows how much the movement to accept all people regardless of their desired sexual partners.

Joe Kennedy/Sports Illustratedn that beautifully written essay Collins penned for Sports Illustrated, Collins promised he would join his former college roommate and Massachusetts congressman Joe Kennedy at the Boston Gay Pride Parade.

Consider that promise fulfilled.

Collins threw out the first pitch at Fenway Park for the Red Sox game on Friday and marched alongside Kennedy and thousands of others at the Boston's 43rd annual pride parade. Collins, as you can see in the photo to the right, wor a rainbow-emblazoned Nike shirt which said #BeTrue.

Nothing truer could be said about what Collins did and what this movement of acceptance has been all about. Collins, like the thousands who marched in Boston on Saturday, were celebrating their ability to be themselves openly and without shame. That has not always been the case for homosexuals in this country or anywhere in the world.

This was a small step perhaps for the movement, but a large one for Collins, who wrote in his essay how envious that his college roommate could march in such a parade while he struggled to openly do so.

Now Collins can clearly see the world accepts him for who he is. Congrats, Jason.

Nuggets targeting Pacers' Brian Shaw?

The Nuggets know that the time to strike and compete for a championships is now following a third-place finish in the Western Conference this year (albeit with an unfortunate first-round exit). Denver let George Karl go possibly knowing he would be coaching a lame duck season. And so Denver is going after the big fish. Lionel Hollins and Pacers assistant Brian Shaw the leading candidates. And according to Sam Amick of USA TODAY, Shaw is the leading candidate early on.


"Good possibility" Shane Battier retires after one more year

Shane Battier has yo-yoed in and out of the Heat lineup this postseason. At times he has been indispensable, and at times stuck tot he bench. He did not play in Game One of the NBA Finals. The veteran forward has had a great career and he is beginning to recognize the end is near. Battier has one more deal left on his contract and he told Alex Kennedy of USA TODAY he will have to assess his future once that expires and retirement could very well be an option.


Ibaka: There will be changes, including K-Mart's departure

Maybe the Russell Westbrook injury was completely unforeseeable, but a struggle in the first round agains the eighth-seeded Rockets and a second round loss to the Grizzlies were certainly not part of the plan. Now the Thunder do face some uncertainty as they try to get back to the Finals. Serge Ibaka, talking to a newspaper in Spain said there will definitely be changes to the Thunder. . . including Kevin Martin's departure. Martin is the big free agent for the Thunder and the team will have to figure out how to get back.


Magic considering moving down?

The Magic are entertaining trading the No. 2 and moving down in the draft and have "quite a few" suitors according to Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel. Orlando may not be the only team interested in trading down. Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times reports the Wizards are interested in acquiring Ersan Ilyasova from the Bucks and are dangling the third overall pick. This is all part of the considerations that happen before the Draft. The Suns also might be shopping the No. 5 pick according to the Arizona Republic.

Sixers probably won't name coach until after Draft

The Sixers are among the many teams searching for a new head coach. Philadelphia though is in no hurry to name a new coach. John N. Mitchell of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Sixers GM Sam Hinkie has no plans to complete his coaching search before the June 27 NBA Draft. Philadelphia is believed to be targeting George Karl, but also possibly targeting Heat assistant coach David Fizdale.

Brendan Malone set to join son in Sacramento

Mike Malone is still setting up his staff and finalizing down who will be joining him in Sacramento. One assistant appears completely set. Malone's father, Brendan, will be joining his son's staff for sure in Sacramento, according to Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News. In addition, Ohio State assistant Chris Jent and big man coach Roy Rodgers have been spotted around Sacramento at Draft workouts. They are not officially hired yet, but it should be coming soon.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily