Somebody playing in the NBA right now is gay. Somebody playing in the NBA right now who's averaging over 20 points a game is gay. Look at the computer screen with that mask of bewilderment all you want. It's true. Simple math says it has to be so. There are a couple of big-name guys consistently in that homosexual rumor mill. Whether those bits of gossip ever prove true, you and I don't have a clear answer yet. We just need to be at peace with the fact that it definitely exists.

And as former NBA star Tim Hardaway so un-eloquently proved a couple of days ago, so, too, does blatant ignorance. Like Chicago Bulls star Ben Gordon recently mentioned, the man is free to feel however he wants to feel. That ain't the question. But to come on live Miami radio with hate-filled remarks about another group of folk just isn't the wisest thing to do—especially when the public (some of which prefer same-sex interaction) is directly responsible for much of the money in your bank account. Bad career move, bruh.

Absolutely senseless to revisit Tim's rant any longer, the once-beloved guard made it known where he stands on the issue. NBA commish David Stern did him one better in his rebuttal, letting Hardaway know where the League stands on bigotry by disassociating itself with the former all-star during this weekend's Las Vegas festivities. "We removed him from representing us because we didn't think his comments were consistent with having anything to do with us," Stern told reporters on the eve of 2007 NBA All-Star Game. But "this is an issue overall that has fascinated America. It's not an NBA issue," Stern continued. "This is a country that needs to talk about this issue. And, not surprisingly, they use sports as a catalyst to begin the dialogue."

Of course, all of this dialoging that's supposed to happen now is a result of the coming out of the NBA's first player, journeyman John Amaechi. This past Thursday the former Penn State center, who's making the media rounds in promotion of his autobiographical work, Man in the Middle, was on a sports talk show and said that Hardaway's remarks likely had damaging effects on somebody thinking about revealing their true sexual identity. It's sad but he's probably right.

Listen, if John Amaechi –Yes, career 6.2-point/2.6-rebound/0.8-assist-averaging John Amaechi!- can make front page news about being gay, one can only begin to fathom the masses' reaction if one of the guys participating in the dunk contest or three-point shootout ever came out. I, for one, wouldn't have a problem with a major sports star saying he's gay. I know he's out there. Simple math says as much. Sure, ladies like Sheryl Swoopes have kinda paved the way, but it's different for guys. And while Hardaway-like sentiment would certainly spew, what Dallas Mavs owner Mark Cuban suggests about new endorsement doors opening might also ring true. But now it doesn't appear such a press conference is on the immediate horizon. And it felt so damn close, too. Thanks, Timmy.