In an effort to replace Reggie Evans, who was traded earlier in the week, the Brooklyn Nets General Manager Billy King announced on Sunday that they have signed center Jason Collins to a 10-day contract.
Collins came out as gay over the offseason, but hasn’t played in the NBA since so when he does take the court with the Nets it will be as the first openly gay athlete in one of America’s four major professional sports. The Nets, however, were quick to point out that this was done for basketball reasons.
“The decision to sign Jason was a basketball decision,” said King. ” We needed to increase our depth inside, and with his experience and size, we felt he was the right choice for a 10-day contract.”
Collins is not the type of player whose stats will wow people. He has averaged 6.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks per 36 minutes during his career. He is more of a defensive player that will protect the net with hard fouls and sets great picks on offense.
“I take charges and I foul — that’s been my forte,” Collins said. “In fact, during the 2004-05 season my 322 personals led the NBA. I enter the court knowing I have six hard fouls to give.’’
“I set picks with my 7-foot, 255-pound body to get guys like Jason Kidd, John Wall and Paul Pierce open,” he continued. “I sacrifice myself for other players. I look out for teammates as I would my kid brother.’’
Either way, Evans turned into a liability when he was on the court and Jordan Hill will be extremely costly in luxury tax fees so this is probably a smart move. Their other option was to sign “Big Baby” Glen Davis, but he signed with the Clippers instead.
Collins was a New Jersey Net from 2001 until he was traded to the Grizzlies for Stromile Swift in Feb. 2008 and was teammates with J-Kidd during most of that time. Hopefully that experience will pay off as he tries to adjust to this team.