Former Warriors coach Mark Jackson has addressed an SFBay.ca report claiming that before gay NBA player Jason Collins signed with Brooklyn in February, Jackson had told reporters regarding the possible big-man addition, "Not in my locker room."
Asked on Twitter on Monday if he was quoted correctly, Jackson wrote, "Lies!!"
If Jackson indeed was quoted correctly (I do not recall the conversation if it took place after I started on the beat in late January), it would go against what the ordained minister told reporters April 29, 2013 on the day Collins came out in a Sports Illustrated article.
Asked then if Collins would be welcomed on the Warriors, Jackson said of the player he got to know while serving as a Nets broadcaster, "If he had game. If he could help this team. Right now (during a playoff series against Denver), he can't help this team."
In that same interview session with reporters, Jackson opened himself up to criticism in also saying, "As a Christian man, I have beliefs of what's right and what's wrong. That being said, I know Jason Collins, I know his family. And certainly praying for them at this time."
But asked on The Dan Patrick Show in February four days after Collins signed with the Nets, Jackson said his belief in the Bible did not affect how he saw a gay basketball player.
"At the end of the day, I'm a pastor," Jackson said. "I have my beliefs as a pastor and as a believer, and that's not going to change. I love Jason Collins. And I think this is a basketball story. I think we're doing a poor job as a society making it something that it's not. I'm happy for him, wish him nothing but the best, but it's a basketball story.
"If a guy can get it done on the floor, then that's the story. I don't think it's any other story. Are you good enough to play on this level? And the Nets think that Jason Collins is, and they went after him, and he's now a member of the Brooklyn Nets. More power to him."