Darren Collison slams ‘overhyped’ rumors about joining Lakers or Clippers
Darren Collison surprised some NBA fans when he decided to remain retired instead of signing with the Los Angeles Lakers or Clippers in February. Apparently, however, he never seriously thought about going back to the league.
During an appearance on the “Minute Til 6” podcast, Collison was asked about being recruited by the Lakers and Clippers in February. He then insisted that “wasn’t even thinking about coming back.”
“To keep it 100, they overhyped the whole thing,” the veteran NBA guard said, referring to media speculation about his interest in a return with one of the L.A. squads.
In February, Darren Collison attended a Lakers game alongside Jeanie Buss, fueling speculation that he was leaning towards signing with the Purple and Gold franchise. However, the former NBA playmaker claimed he went to Staples Center that night to watch his friend Russell Westbrook play and simply enjoy the sport from a fan’s perspective.
“When I went, it just so happened that that they made this hoopla about me trying to play for the Lakers…but there was not one time was I thinking about coming back, because mentally I was just wasn’t in that right frame of mind,” Collison added.
Beyond the fact that he just so happened to sit next to the Lakers owner, the former UCLA Bruin apparently texted Matt Barnes that he was “50/50” about a return at the time.
Collison said he’ll “assess everything” after this season in regards to a return, but he insists he “never thought about coming back” for 2019-20. he emphasized that he’s “still trying to work some things out” in his life while trying to help the youth out as well.
The 32-year-old also said that multiple NBA teams contacted his agent to inquire about his services for the Orlando restart.
The Lakers could certainly use another ball-handler, as their backcourt depth has suffered with the absence of Avery Bradley (opted out) and Rajon Rondo (thumb surgery). However, they will have to make use of what they have in their roster today.
Collison unexpectedly retired from the NBA in 2019 to focus on his faith and family. He owns career averages of 12.5 points and 5.0 assists per game over 10 seasons.