Continued from page 1

“I know how dedicated he is to his craft and he was a great teammate, regardless of his sexual preference. It didn’t matter to me.”

Kevin Garnett was “just happy for him obviously being able to be himself. … Personal preference is just that. We’re here to support everything he’s doing.”

Green called Collins “a good friend” and said “I’m truly, truly happy for him.”

And, he said, he never considered the possibility of having a gay teammate.

“It never crossed my mind, but I’m not against it,” he said. “We all are here for the same reason and that’s to win, no matter if you’re gay, if you’re straight. It doesn’t matter to me.”

But Rivers knows not everyone will have a favorable reaction to Collins‘ announcement if he plays next season.

“There may be some guy in the crowd that may want to voice his opinion,” he said, “but they voice their opinions pretty well when we’re on the road anyway. It’s just white noise at the end of the day, and I’m sure when Jackie Robinson went on the road, some of the things he heard, and they all went away, eventually, and this will go away as well.”

Rivers said Collins‘ announcement will “spur debate and opinions” even if it doesn’t spur other gay athletes to come out.

“Everybody should have a right to an opinion,” he said. “We have to have tolerance with everyone.”