The 7-foot center entered during the second quarter to a standing ovation in the stands to assist the Nets win 108-102 over the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center. Collins played for 11 minutes and finished strong with no points, two rebounds, one steal, and five fouls.
“It felt like, ‘I’ve done this thousands of times before,â€ said Collins after the win. â€œOnce you’re out on the court, it’s about basketball. It’s what I’ve been doing for almost three decades,” he continued.
Collins recognizes the significance of making history, but says he is focusing on getting the job done on the court for the Nets. The 35-year-old player came out in Sports Illustrated in April 2012 and became the first openly gay basketball player. He, however, remained a free agent until he signed a 10-day deal with the Nets.