Retired point guard Darren Collison made headlines earlier this season when it was reported he may be considering a return to the NBA, with the Los Angeles Lakers and L.A. Clippers as his top two potential destinations.
At the time, the Lakers felt they were in desperate need of a backup point guard, as their struggles when LeBron James was on the bench was the team’s most prevalent issue. Signing Collison would have made all the difference, and could have set L.A. apart from the other title contenders.
The rumors reached a boiling point when Collison attended a Lakers game against the Houston Rockets and was seen sitting courtside with general manager Rob Pelinka. After a couple weeks of back and forth reports, it was revealed that Collison wouldn’t return after all.
With this taking place months in the past, Collison spoke on the subject, explaining that he never once considered signing with the Lakers or even so much as returning to the NBA, and that he only went to the game to support his friend Russell Westbrook, via the “A Minute Till 6” podcast:
“I mean, to keep it 100, they overhyped the whole thing. I wasn’t even thinking about coming back. I actually just came to the game to watch one of my good friends that was playing for Houston, Russ, he was playing the Lakers at the time. I just wanted to come watch the game as a fan. We spend so much time as players playing a game, we don’t realize the appreciation for it from the outside looking in. So that was my only opportunity to try to go to the game, enjoy that aspect and watch it from a fan perspective.
“When I went, it just so happened that they made this hoopla about me trying to play for the Lakers. They made it a big deal, but there was not one time where I was thinking about coming back because mentally, I just wasn’t in that right frame of mind. I’m still trying to work some things out in my life and help the youth out as well. So I almost feel like after this season, yeah I’ll assess everything else, but this season I never thought about coming back.”
While Collison did not close the door on returning some time in the future, he did unequivocally say that there was no chance he’d return this season. This reveal completely changes those few weeks in January and February.
With the Lakers being so desperate at the time for help with the point guard position, Collison returning would have been absolutely perfect. Because of this, what began as a simple rumor ended up being a huge headline, even though it was never going to happen.
Anthony Davis and Collison reportedly spoke after initial news broke
What fed into these rumors was the report that Davis and Collison actually spoke after it was revealed he may return to the NBA. The conversation was the impetus for many to believe Collison was going to be L.A.’s savior.
However, it now seems like that may not be true at all. Or, if the two did converse, it was hardly about him returning to play for the Lakers.
The NBA — more so than any other league — can get very easily swept up in rumors. This is just another example, and there will assuredly be another one like it in the future.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!