Jason Collins became the first openly gay athlete out of the country’s four major professional sports on Sunday.
Collins signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets.
“Sometimes in life something happens and there’s an opportunity,” he said shortly before taking on the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday night. “I’m very thankful for this opportunity. That’s why I work so hard, why I train the way I do so that when I do have an opportunity physically I’m not worried about my conditioning or cardio or anything along those lines.”
“The decision to sign Jason was a basketball decision,” Nets general manager Billy King said in a statement. “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 played a portion of the second quarter, and received a round of applause from the crowd at the Staples Center.
When asked about making history during a press conference, Collins said that he was primarily focused on learning the plays and being the best player he could be.
“Right now, I’m focused on trying to learn the plays…I don’t have time to really think about history right now. I just have to focus on my job tonight.”
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