NBA Free Agency: Openly Gay Player Jason Collins Back To Brooklyn Nets?
June 29, 2013 7:06 AM EST
Jason Collins, the first openly gay player in NBA history, could rejoin the Brooklyn Nets.
Collins, now 34-years-old and nearly two months removed from when he revealed his sexuality in an article for Sports Illustrated, spent the first six years of his 12-year career with the Nets when they were based out of New Jersey. He helped the Nets make back-to-back NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003 as a starting center.
According to Yahoo! Sports, the Nets are in the midst of a total overhaul, and are considering Collins for a reserve center role.
New head coach Jason Kidd was teammates with Collins during those New Jersey years, and reportedly has pushed to bring him into the fold. Collins is also close with former head coach and new Brooklyn assistant coach Lawrence Frank, according to Yahoo!
Collins was largely applauded for coming out, and became the first openly gay player in a major North American sport. Used largely for his defense and leadership qualities, Collins has career averages of 3.6 points and 3.8 rebounds. He’s played for six different teams, and was originally drafted by the Nets with the 18th overall pick in 2001.
Brooklyn just traded for three of Collins former Boston teammates in Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry. Last season Collins appeared in 32 games for the Celtics, averaging 1.2 points and 1.6 rebounds in 10.3 minutes of play.
The Nets sent Boston big men Kris Humprhies and Gerald Wallace, along with guard MarShon Brooks and three first-round picks.
Yahoo! also reported that Garnett was actually upset when Boston traded Collins to the Washington Wizards back in February.
The addition of future Hall of Famers Garnett and Pierce, and the bench scoring of former Sixth Man of the Year Terry, pushes Brooklyn into the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference alongside the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, and New York Knicks.
Collins would give Brooklyn plenty of depth at center, just behind Garnett and Brook Lopez, who posted an all-star caliber season of 19.4 points and eight rebounds a game last year.
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