Now 32, Darren Collison (right) averaged 11.2 points and 6.0 assists per game for Indiana last season. Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Collison says the talk of him joining the Los Angeles Lakers or Clippers was “overhyped”.

Collison surprisingly turned down the opportunity to play this season even though he likely would have had several contract offers. The former guard said he wanted to help and serve people more than he wanted to play.

Even though he retired last summer, a report in January said he was considering a return and thinking about signing with the Lakers or Clippers. Adding to the report was Collison attending a Lakers game in February.

Well, Collison said during an appearance on the “Minute til 6” podcast that the reality was different from the reports.

“They overhyped the whole thing,” Collison told Mark Haynes. “I wasn’t even thinking about coming back. I actually came to the game to watch (Russell Westbrook) as a fan. We spend so much time as players playing the game, but we don’t realize the appreciation from the outside looking in. So that was my only opportunity to go to the game and enjoy that aspect of the game from a fan perspective.

“When I went, it just so happened they made this hoopla about me trying to play for the Lakers. They made it a big deal, but there wasn’t one time when I felt like coming back.”

Despite saying the report was overhyped, Collison said as recently as April that he was still open to a return. Now 32, Collison averaged 11.2 points and 6.0 assists per game for Indiana last season.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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