ESPN is reporting that Jason Collins, who came out as openly gay last year, will become a member of the Brooklyn Nets:
Collins is expected to be a member of the Nets by tonight's game with the Lakers at Staples Center, source tells ESPN
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) February 23, 2014
He is expected to sign a 10-day contract and be in uniform tonight.
Collins, 35, has averaged 3.6 points and 3.8 rebounds in a 12-year NBA career. The 7-foot tall center has built a long career based on his defense and joins a Nets team doing everything possible to make a playoff run. The Nets lost their starting center, Brook Lopez, to a season-ending injury. Collins spent the first 7 years of his career with the Nets when they were in New Jersey.
Jason’s twin brother, Jarron, tweeted that “today should be a pretty cool day!” His signing was prompted by the decision of Glen “Big Baby” Davis — a younger and more capable offensive player — to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers were reported to have also been interested in Collins if they were unable to sign Davis.
Collins came out last April in self-written article published in Sports Illustrated. The first sentence was: “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.”
Collins’ failure to sign with a team to this point caused some to speculate that the NBA might be less ready for an openly gay athlete than the reaction from the league and other players suggested. The concern appears to have been premature. Rather, at this point in his career, Collins brings an important but limited set of skills to an NBA team — and it took until February to find the right fit.
Nets officially sign Jason Collins. Nets GM Billy King said, “The decision to sign Jason was a basketball decision. We needed to increase our depth inside…”