NBA legend Magic Johnson appeared on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno Monday (6 May) to promote his new Aspire TV network but there were some gay topics to discuss first.
Leno asked the retired Los Angeles Lakers star to weigh in on the coming out of Jason Collins last week. Collins is the first openly gay NBA player in history.
‘It’s great now that he’s out,’ Johnson said. ‘He can be free and just be himself. We in the NBA, we all support him. I’m happy for him because he seems now happy.’
Collins, a 12-year veteran of the league, played for the Washington Wizards last season but is currently a free agent and looking for a job as a center.
‘I hope that he makes a team next season, it’s not guaranteed,’ Johnson said. ‘But all teams look for a big man. He’s super smart. I think he’ll have a chance to make a team and I hope he does because that will be good for the gay community.’
He added: ‘At the end of the day, he wants to make a team based on the fact that he is good enough to be one of 12 guys. I think that is going to be what it will be based on.’
Johnson’s 20-year-old son Earvin Johnson III, a junior at New York University, came out publicly in late March.
‘We support him and are happy for him,’ Johnson told Leno.
He added that there has been a lot of corporate and Hollywood interest in his son.
‘We love him and he’s a great kid and a smart kid,’ he said.