Jason Collins, the 35-year-old free agent, became the first openly gay athlete to sign to the NBA. Nearly a year after coming out, Collins signed with the New York Nets.
Within hours of sigining, Collins appeared in his first game.
"Right now, I’m focused on trying to learn the plays, the game plan assignment,” Collins told The New York Times. “I don’t have time to really think about history right now.” Collins was brought in a few weeks before when the Nets was adressing its need for interior defense.
“The decision to sign Jason was a basketball decision,” General Manager Billy King said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Collins had this to say to gay athletes:
“My message to other athletes, period, is just be yourself. Be your true, authentic self and never be afraid or ashamed or have any fear to be your true authentic self.”
Watch a clip of Jason Collins' Brooklyn Nets 2014 debut below: