AP source: Jason Collins to get second 10-day deal
- Article by: BRIAN MAHONEY
- Associated Press
- March 3, 2014 - 10:30 PM
NEW YORK — Jason Collins spent part of his off day on Sunday shopping at Costco.
He was wise to stock up, because he'll be staying with Brooklyn for at least a little while longer.
The Nets plan to sign Collins to a second 10-day contract, a person with knowledge of the situation said Monday.
Collins signed his original deal on Feb. 23, becoming the NBA's first openly gay player, and it expires Tuesday.
The Nets then will re-sign him for another 10 days on Wednesday, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the plans haven't been made public.
After that, the Nets would have to sign him for the rest of the season if they wanted to keep him.
Collins played the final 2:41 of the Nets' 96-80 victory over Chicago on Monday, receiving a standing ovation from a sellout crowd of 17,732 that included former NBA Commissioner David Stern when he entered. Collins missed his only shot.
"It was cool. It was a lot of fun to go into the game," he said. "The most important thing was that we got the win."
Collins said before the game that he wasn't aware of any deal, leaving those details up to his agent. Coach Jason Kidd said those discussions were between management and Collins' agent, but said his former teammate has been "great, on and off the court."
"Twin is a good friend of mine and he's a basketball player, but he's a great person and so that's why we wanted him on this team and we felt he could help us win," Kidd said, referring to Collins by the nickname he had during his original stint with the Nets from 2001-08.
The Nets still practice in New Jersey even after moving to Brooklyn before last season, so that's where Collins was Sunday after the Nets got back from their road trip that ended Saturday night in Milwaukee.
"It's kind of funny. Yesterday on my day off I'm driving around Jersey on Route 17 and bringing back a lot of memories from when I was here before," Collins said.
He's much more famous now after revealing he was gay in a Sports Illustrated article last April. He had been out of the NBA from then until signing with the Nets.
Collins said he had plenty of ticket requests from family and friends for Monday's game, and also saw a number of familiar faces from the old days. The pregame press conference and the overall media attention are new, and Collins believes it won't last, but understands that for now his sexuality makes him a big story.
"Over time it will go down, but as far as doing interviews and talking about it, I'm getting comfortable with the microphone or the camera on me," he said.
He's more comfortable on the court, even in the limited minutes he gets. Finally finished with his lengthy list of pregame obligations, he was looking forward to helping the Nets in whatever way he could.
"Now that that's all settled, I'll go out there and just try to focus as much as I can on the game," Collins said.
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