NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Jason Collins became the NBA’s first openly-gay player when he signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets on February 23.
The veteran’s contract is set to expire next week, and with the Nets in the thick of the playoff race the question must be asked: Will general manager Billy King keep the 7-footer on the roster for the remainder of the season?
It appears that the trailblazing center won’t be leaving New York anytime soon.
“The Nets are all but certain to keep him for the rest of the season,” Tim Bontemps of the New York Post wrote on Thursday.
The 35-year-old wasn’t expected to get significant playing time when he signed, and he hasn’t seen many minutes two games into his second stint with the franchise.
In his season debut against the Lakers this past Sunday, the 13th-year player picked up two rebounds, five fouls and a steal in 11 minutes on the floor. He also committed two turnovers and missed his only shot.
With the Nets getting pummeled on Wednesday night in Portland, Collins entered the game at the beginning of the fourth quarter. He went 0-for-1 from the field in seven minutes.
Collins knows his role with the team, and after sitting out all season he’s thrilled to contribute in any way possible.
“I’m back playing basketball, so of course I’m enjoying this,” he said, according to the Associated Press.
Collins has received plenty of support since coming out and returning to the league, and his historic comeback has been a major boost for the NBA.
Collins’ No. 98 jersey rocketed to No. 1 in sales on the league’s official website on its first day available for purchase, NBA senior vice president Vicky Picca said on Tuesday.
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