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Collins won’t confirm re-signing with Nets

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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NEW YORK — Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins will sign a second 10-day contract with the team on Wednesday, multiple media outlets reported Monday.

Collins, who was set to make his home debut in Brooklyn on Monday night against the Chicago Bulls, last week became the first openly gay athlete to compete in the NBA. He declined to comment on reports that a new deal was set.

“I don’t know anything about that,” Collins said at a pregame press conference. “I let my agent handle the business side. …

“I just try to focus on the basketball as much as possible. And tonight, we focus on the Chicago Bulls. It’s great to play in front of your home fans and get that support. I’m looking forward to it.”

A 12-year veteran, Collins has played for six teams during his career, including a seven-year stay in New Jersey with the Nets from 2001-2008. He was signed to add size to a depleted Nets roster, and he began play Monday averaging one rebound and less than one point per game.

NBA rules permit teams to sign players to two 10-day contracts in a season. If the Nets want to keep Collins beyond March 14, they would need to guarantee his contract for the remainder of the season.

The 35-year old’s re-introduction to the NBA drew comparisons with Jackie Robinson breaking of Major League Baseball’s color line in 1947.

“I’m just trying to be Jason Collins,” Collins said. “What Jackie Robinson did for baseball and for society is tremendous, but I’m just trying to be Jason Collins.”

Despite his meager on-court production, Collins gained celebrity status after joining the Nets. His jersey immediately became the NBA’s best-seller, and the league is donating profits from sales of Collins shirts to the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network and the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

Collins wears uniform No. 98 in memory of Shepard, a gay college student who was murdered in a 1998 hate crime.

“Honestly, I have been a little bit surprised (regarding the jersey sales),” Collins said. “But it is great to see all that support for the jersey and all that it stands for and why I chose the number. It is one of those pleasant surprises in life, and thank you to all the people who have gone out there and bought the jersey.”

Alan is an experienced writer of online betting and casino guides. He is one of the main editors of Basketballinsiders.

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