At the end of the season last year, Jason Collins did an extremely brave thing and came out of the closet. Since coming out he has been a free agent, ready to be picked up by a team. Now, almost five months into the regular season, his time as a free agent came to an end when the Brooklyn Nets, who have been struggling all season, signed him to a 10 day contract!
“The decision to sign Jason was a basketball decision,” Nets general manager Billy King said in a statement. ” We needed to increase our depth inside, and with his experience and size, we felt he was the right choice for a 10-day contract.”
The Nets moved quickly to make the historic signing of the 35-year-old free agent center to have another big body available against the Lakers. Brooklyn had been contemplating signing Collins for the past week and the need for Collins became greater after the Nets dealt rebounding specialist Reggie Evans to the Sacramento Kings last week. - ESPN
Last night Collins made his debut back against the Lakers, stepping on the court with about 10.5 minutes left in the first half. He was welcomed with knowing applause, and thus named the first openly gay player in the NBA!
Collins is a defensive player, and did his job last night, getting two rebounds, a steal, and tapped the ball off of a missed free-throw back to Paul Pierce for a 3-pointer, putting the Nets up 9 points up over the Lakers with 6 minutes left to go in the game. A good start to a new team, and what we can expect from an experienced player like Collins. If he does the same in upcoming games and puts a couple of points on the board, you can bet Brooklyn will sign him to a longer contract.
At the end of the game Brooklyn beat the Lakers 108 to 102. Go Nets!