Apr 30, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets small forward Kenneth Faried (35) reacts to a play in the second quarter against the Golden State Warriors in game five of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

NBA News: Wednesday morning link dump

Why NBA center Jason Collins is coming out now – SI.com

“I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, “I’m different.” If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m raising my hand.”

Warriors’ coach Mark Jackson accuses Nuggets of sending hitmen at Steph Curry – Bleacher Report 

“Rather than denying that they engaged in overly rough play, the Nuggets simply acknowledged that this is playoff basketball.”

Phil Jackson will listen to Raptors’ pitch, keep options open – CBS Sports

“The key component of a potential Jackson return would be the ability to hire a head coach who would implement his vision. With three head coaching jobs currently open — Charlotte, Philadelphia and Detroit — and with several more potentially becoming vacant in the coming weeks, there is no shortage of opportunities for Jackson to mold a team’s culture.”

Has the championship sea parted for the Spurs – Bleacher Report

“So believe that the Spurs can make a title run. Believe that they can win it all. And let that belief mean more now than it did before the Lakers, Nuggets, Warriors and Thunder incurred the most surprising of personnel losses.”

Takeaways from Lakers exit interviews – Bleacher Report

“After a tumultuous season where it was constantly on the ropes, being dispatched so quickly in the first round almost felt like a sigh of relief for the team and the fanbase.”

Blueprint for Heat to be the best NBA playoff team ever – Bleacher Report

“From there, if Miami is also able to sweep the NBA Finals while posting an average scoring margin of at least plus-10 points, this year’s Heat would qualify as the best playoff team in league history.”

Stephen Curry gets into altercation with a fan – Blue Man Hoop

“Curry was reportedly the target of the Nuggets on Tuesday, absorbing hard hit after hard hit. Many would even go as far to speculate that Denver’s players were intentionally trying to injure Curry.”

Blake Griffin suffers high ankle sprain in Monday Practice – Fully Clips

“Clippers sideline reporters have announced that Blake Griffin has been receiving treatment for the sprain, but this is terrible timing. He’ s been the second best player in this series after Chris Paul and they need everything they can get from Blake with the surrounding cast struggling in the past two games.”

Portland Trail blazers will make major announcement Wednesday – King James Gospel

“According to Trail Blazes PR Twitter account, the organization and the NBA will be making a major announcement on Wednesday. It is not clear what the announcement will be, but it is quite obvious.”

Are the OKC Thunder in trouble the rest of the Rockets series? – Thunderous Intentions

“The Rockets are a good team that you didn’t really expect the Thunder to sweep before the playoffs started. Everything changed in this series after the Westbrook injury and we still don’t know exactly what to expect from the Thunder going forward.”

Complete list of 2012-13 Lakers Nation playoff evaluations – Lakers Nation

“With Day 2 of the Lakers exit interviews wrapping up, the Lakers head into the offseason with more question marks then answers.”

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