Earlier today, the Nets and Jason Collins made history together when the center inked a 10-day deal to become the first openly gay athlete in one of America’s four major leagues. Collins, 35, has been out of the NBA since completing the 2012/13 season with the Wizards but he should bring hard-nosed defense and veteran leadership to the 25-28 Nets. Here’s a look at some of the latest reaction and fallout..
- Clippers coach Doc Rivers admitted to reporters, including Jeff Caplan of NBA.com (via Twitter), that he’s been in contact with the big man about playing with Los Angeles. Rivers, who is expected to officially add Glen Davis to his roster later today, says he’s happy for Collins and glad to see him join Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in Brooklyn.
- Newly-minted commish Adam Silver issued a statement on the signing this afternoon. “Jason told us that his goal was to earn another contract with an NBA team,” Silver said. “Today, I want to commend him on achieving his goal. I know everyone in the NBA family is excited for him and proud that our league fosters an inclusive and respectful environment.”
- Collins’ deal may be making history, but Nets GM Billy King is insistent that it wasn’t about breaking barriers. “The decision to sign Jason was a basketball decision,” King said in the press release. “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.”
- Mark Madsen, Collins’ former teammate at Stanford, had dinner with the newest Net a few months ago and was struck by how good of shape he was in, tweets Bill Oram of the Orange County Register. The Nets are getting a “skilled leader, a skilled defender for a bargain price,” said the former center (link).
- Since the news broke Thursday the Nets were a potential landing spot for Collins, every player on the team has been uniform in agreeing Collins would be welcomed with open arms, writes Tim Bontemps of the New York Post.
- Sam Amick of USA Today notes that Collins has built up a reputation as a classy professional over the course of his career.