Originally written on Oregon Sports News  |  Last updated 11/20/14
One closet door flew off its hinges when an active player said, "I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay." The last sentence defines the sort of fan you are. You either react in horror and break out a bible verse, or wish Jason Collins the best for next season. How would Portland fans react if he made his announcement to the Oregonian as a Blazer? They'd name a street named after him? Maybe a parade? It's the Portland way, man. The Trail Blazer faithful would line the parade route from Cesar Chavez Avenue to MLK and finish on Drexler Drive at the Rose Garden. Portland would gather in Pioneer Square and roar their approval loud enough to echo from Gresham to Beaverton, from Vancouver to Lake Oswego. It worked for Greg Oden, sort of. Portland cheers a big man who can walk and run. They know how fragile they are. From Bill Walton to Mychal Thompson to Sam Bowie, including Arvydas Sabonis and Oden, their wheels don't have a run flat option. Injuries are part of the game, just ask Russell Westbrook and Blake Griffin. Behavior is part of the game too, a part Portland knows too well. And yes, it's usually weird. After Brooklyn Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo left Portland, the enduring image was his bearded face barking instructions. If he had yelled them out of the first round of the playoffs during his three years, he might have been around longer. The screaming stopped when he coached the Golden State Warriors and irked Latrell Sprewell with his style. Fans understand how the hand is part of the ball, but Sprewell took it further. He decided his hands were part of Carlesimo's neck during a practice. A review of the event makes you wonder how Rutger's former coach Mike Rice didn't get throttled when he opened his mouth. Blame the polite nature of New Jersey and lack of a Sprewell. Some choking probably happened when police discovered millionaire athletes on the highway with a pop can weed pipe. Students in college dorms across Oregon rolled their door-towels a little tighter after that news. Another towel played a role during a Blazer vs. Laker game when Rasheed Wallace whipped one at Sabas during a timeout. Bill Walton said of that moment, "It was one of the lowest moments of my life. If I was any kind of a man, I would have got up from that broadcast table and walked across the court and punched Rasheed Wallace in the nose. But I let Sabonis and the game of basketball and the human race down that day." An NBA game lasts forty eight minutes in regulation, the memories last a lifetime. Fans love their teams for better or worse, that's part of the deal. If players leave the court and spiral down with destructive behavior, they violate the fan-team contract. Take another look at Jason Collins before you pass any judgment. By all fair standards he's one of the good guys, one to cheer for.

Report: Athletics trade Derek Norris to Padres

Dodgers not happy with Padres GM over Matt Kemp trade

Mario Balotelli banned match for offensive Instagram post

Marc Trestman: Benching Jay Cutler could revive QB's career

Rob Gronkowski jokes about Tom Brady saying he's grown up

Rajon Rondo traded to Mavs for three players, picks


Washington Post has perfect description for Titans-Jaguars

Wilbon angry at DC for not supporting Wizards

Urban Meyer says Tim Tebow still wants to play in the NFL

Keenan Lewis: Saints preparing 'funeral' for Falcons

Chris Christie defends being a Cowboys fan

Celtics co-owner: 2024 Olympics would be 'boon for Beantown'

Extremely rare set of Air Jordan 7s selling for $45,000

Five reasons why Alabama will win College Football Playoff

Hugh Freeze proud of Ole Miss’ record 2.57 team GPA

Youngstown St. addresses Bo Pelini's profanity-laced rant

It's been almost 40 years since NFL's last untelevised game

The NHL has finally fined a player for diving

Ben Roethlisberger: Le’Veon Bell is having an MVP season

Jim Harbaugh comments on the reported offer from Michigan

Michael Jordan's college Converse shoes sell for $33,387

Week 16 NFL game watchability rankings

Game of the week: Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Chicago Bears are the Monstrosity of the Midway

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Gronk jokes about Brady compliment

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Impact of U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Andrew Hawkins, other athletes gain support for social statement attire

NBA's most underrated players

Michael Vick nearly debt-free

Dolphins CB rips Brady's career plans

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason

Brian Billick owns Browns fan

Pelini has profane words for Nebraska AD

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.