Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Brooklyn Nets' Jason Collins, right, takes a shot over Chicago Bulls' Nazr Mohammed during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 3, 2014, in New York. The Nets won 96-80. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
NBA: Collins gets to play, and will get to stick around
First Published Mar 04 2014 10:22 am • Last Updated Mar 05 2014 05:18 pm

New York • Jason Collins dealt with the ticket requests, handled the media responsibilities, then moved on to what he most wants to do in the NBA.

"Win basketball games," Collins said.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

He will get at least a few more chances.

Collins played the final minutes of a winning home debut with the Brooklyn Nets, who cooled off the Chicago Bulls with a 96-80 victory Monday night.

Finally playing at Barclays Center more than a week after returning to the NBA as the league’s first openly gay player, Collins checked in to a standing ovation from a sellout crowd of 17,732 that included former commissioner David Stern with 2:41 remaining.

He committed a foul five seconds later, missed his only shot, grabbed a rebound and had one of the Nets’ NBA season high-tying 19 steals in their third straight victory.

"It was cool. It was a lot of fun to go into the game," Collins said. "The most important thing was that we got the win. Chicago’s been playing really well as of late and for us to come out and really be — I think we played more physical than they did tonight."

His first home game won’t be his last, because the Nets plan to sign Collins to a second 10-day contract, a person with knowledge of the situation said.

Collins signed his original deal on Feb. 23 and it expires Tuesday. The Nets then will re-sign him for another 10 days on Wednesday, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the plans haven’t been made public.

After that expires, the Nets would have to sign him for the rest of the season if they wanted to keep him.


story continues below
story continues below

Collins sat at the end of the bench for most of the game while the Nets built a series of comfortable leads, making the only intrigue down the stretch whether the 12-year veteran would get in during his first home appearance for the Nets since Jan. 29, 2008, against Milwaukee in East Rutherford, N.J.

A chant of "Jason Collins! Jason Collins!" broke out while Deron Williams was shooting a free throw with the Nets leading 90-73 with 3:27 remaining. Fans finally got their wish less than a minute later — though not because coach Jason Kidd was listening to them.

"No, the game was out of hand, so I wanted to get those guys some rest," Kidd said. "D-Will was shooting free throws. Couldn’t put Twin in at that time, so I told him after the free throws that he would come in."

Collins said before the game that he wasn’t aware of any second contract, leaving those details up to his agent. Kidd said those discussions were between management and Collins’ agent, but said his former teammate has been "great, on and off the court."

"Twin is a good friend of mine and he’s a basketball player, but he’s a great person and so that’s why we wanted him on this team and we felt he could help us win," Kidd said, referring to Collins by the nickname he had during his original stint with the Nets from 2001-08.

The Nets still practice in New Jersey even after moving to Brooklyn before last season, so that’s where Collins was Sunday after the Nets got back from their road trip that ended Saturday night in Milwaukee.

He spent part of the day shopping at Costco, wisely stocking up since he’ll be sticking around.

"It’s kind of funny. Yesterday on my day off I’m driving around Jersey on Route 17 and bringing back a lot of memories from when I was here before," Collins said.

He’s much more famous now after revealing he was gay in a Sports Illustrated article last April. He had been out of the NBA from then until signing with the Nets.

Collins said he had plenty of ticket requests from family and friends for Monday’s game, and also saw a number of familiar faces from the old days.

The pregame news conference and the overall media attention are new, and Collins believes it won’t last, but understands that for now his sexuality makes him a big story.

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.