Jason Collins Enters Game vs. Lakers, Officially Becoming the NBA’s First Openly Gay Player (Video)
When the Michael Sam story broke a few weeks ago, chances are it left a lot of non-NBA fans wondering, “hey, whatever happened to that NBA guy who came out as gay last summer?”
Of course, that NBA guy would be Jason Collins, and the answer is nothing. Nothing happened to him. The 7-foot center was 34 years old at the time and a free agent, and while it would have been nice to see him sign with a team before the start of the 2013-14 NBA season, the fact of the matter is not many teams are eager to sign an aging big man for an entire season. So Collins waited, and we waited. The start of the season came and went, and the NBA All-Star break came and went. But still nothing.
Then the Brooklyn Nets, already without Brook Lopez for the season, traded Reggie Evans to the Kings, and all of a sudden they needed another big body. After trying and failing to land Glen Davis, they gave Collins a look, liked what they saw, and signed him to a 10-day contract.
The Nets didn’t waste any time getting Collins into a game so he could make some history, either. They wanted some size for last night’s game against the Lakers, and since Collins makes his offseason home in Los Angeles anyway, it was easy for him to make his first appearance with the team last night.
Of course, the defensive specialist didn’t start the game. However, he did sub in midway through the second quarter and received a standing ovation from the portion of the Staples Center crowd that was paying attention:
Collins’ stat sheet certainly wasn’t historic. The guy played 12 minutes and recorded zero points and two rebounds. However, it’s unlikely anyone will forget this game. He is now the first openly gay man to play in one of the four major North American professional sports leagues (sorry, MLS).
Hat Tip – [ESPN]