Jason Collins signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, becoming the first openly gay athlete on an active roster in one of the four major American sports. He later made his Nets debut against the Los Angeles Lakers, and Collins was treated to a warm reception from fans at the Staples Center.
Collins entered the game with just over 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter. He played 11 minutes and finished with two rebounds and a steal in Brooklyn’s 108-102 win over LA.
After the game, Collins was peppered with questions about the cultural importance of the evening. He tried to steer reporters toward discussing basketball and said he needs to spend a lot more time learning the Nets’ playbook and figuring out how he can help the team win.
The night went pretty much as anticipated, but Lakers fans deserve credit for the reception they gave Collins. It was certainly nice to see.