ATLANTA Larry Drew coached Jason Collins for three seasons with the Hawks, two when Drew was an assistant and another as the head coach. One of those years, Collins was instrumental with his defense on Dwight Howard in helping Atlanta advance past the Magic in the first round of the playoffs. Drew also had Collins earlier in his career when he was an assistant in New Jersey.
But Drew had no idea what was coming when he received a phone call from Collins on Tuesday morning. Collins left a message, not informing Drew of his intent, but it wasnt long before Drew learned that Collins had come out as the first active gay athlete in a North American professional sports league.
Drew missed the call. It came during the Hawks shootaround before Game 4 of their first-round series with Indiana but he called Collins back leaving a message in return -- and told Collins how proud he was of him.
First of all, Im very, very proud of Jason, the fact that he had the courage to come forth, to exp...