Thirteen-year NBA center Jason Collins’ return to Nets will come in historic fashion.
Collins, 35 has been a free agent since revealing to the world that he was gay in April of 2013.
It is being reported that he will sign a 10-day contract with his first NBA home, the Brooklyn Nets (which was New Jersey during his 2001 rookie season) making him not only the NBA’s first openly gay player but the first in any of the four major North American professional leagues.
The Nets moved quickly to make the historic signing of the 35-year-old free agent center to have another big body available against the Lakers. Brooklyn had been contemplating signing Collins for the past week and the need for Collins became greater after the Nets dealt rebounding specialist Reggie Evans to the Sacramento Kings last week.
ESPN.com reported that the Nets quietly auditioned Collins last week in Los Angeles, paving the way from him to rejoin the franchise he spent his first six-plus seasons in the league.
Collins is reunited with Nets coach Jason Kidd, who played with the defensive-minded big man in New Jersey from 2001-08, making two trips together to the NBA Finals.
Collins already received an outpour of support amongst his fellow NBA players but two notable athletes were quick to congratulate him on his new contract with BKN.
They are Robbie Rogers of the Los Angeles Galaxy, the first openly gay male athlete of any U.S. professional sport and Michael Sam, the NFL-hopeful who recently made headlines for his closet-breaking announcement.
Their congratulatory tweets can be seen in the gallery.
Photo: Twitter/Michael Sam, Twitter/Robbie Rogers, WENN.COM