Former Stanford basketball player Jason Collins ’01, who shook the sports world when he announced in April that he was gay, signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday afternoon and later played in the team’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Collins — a 12-year NBA journeyman who was originally drafted 18th overall in 2001 by the Houston Rockets — played 11 minutes off the bench for the Nets, grabbing two rebounds and committing five fouls. It was the seven-footer’s first appearance in an NBA game since the 2012-13 season, which he ended as a member of the Washington Wizards.
After coming out last year, Collins made it clear that he wanted to play in the league again, and had been training and working out in the Los Angeles area. Although no team invited him to training camp, Collins was ultimately able to rejoin an NBA squad after the frenzy of the trading deadline. The Nets were an ideal team for Collins, who is familiar with their defensive system and played with current Nets Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in Boston.
Per NBA rules, the Nets will be allowed to sign Collins to another 10-day deal before deciding whether or not to retain his services for the remainder of the season. While the Northridge, Calif. native sports paltry career averages of 3.6 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, he is a playoff-tested veteran, having made back-to-back NBA Finals appearances with the Nets in 2002 and 2003.