Time Magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People includes political figures, actors, singers and business executives. It also includes Jason Collins, who was named to the list after becoming the first openly gay player to appear in an NBA game.
“It’s a cool honor, but I know I’m not just doing this by myself,” Collins said. “There have been a lot of people who have helped me get to where I am, a lot of people who have made the path easier for me and that’s the one thing I hope I’m doing for other people is making it easier for them to live their authentic life.”
The list was revealed Thursday morning and each name was accompanied by an essay. Collins’ essay was composed by Chelsea Clinton, who he met at Stanford.
“Yeah, it was really cool,” Collins said. “I texted her this morning and, because obviously we talk every now and then, and was like, ‘How did you …?’ She kept it a secret from me. Although my sister-in-law, my brother’s wife, she did know, and my sister-in-law is good at keeping secrets, as well.”
While Collins said he did not know until Thursday, he was moved by Clinton’s essay.
“Her words were very touching, and like I said she’s a good friend and before about a year ago, before all of this broke, I called her and asked for her advice on how to life your life in the public eye, and her words were a great piece of advice,” Collins said.
Collins has been with the team since signing the first of two 10-day contracts on Feb. 23. Though he was influential in adding Collins, Nets head coach Jason Kidd, a former teammate, downplayed it.
“I didn’t do anything,” Kidd said. “His basketball talent, his personality, if it wasn’t us it was going to be someone else [who signed him]. So, again, we’re happy to have him on board just like we said from Day 1.”
Follow Nets beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.