Jason Collins

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Jason Collins
Jason Collins Nets 2014.jpg
Collins with the Nets in 2014
No. 98 – Brooklyn Nets
Position Center
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1978-12-02) December 2, 1978 (age 35)
Northridge, California
Nationality American
Listed height 7 ft 0 in (213 cm)
Listed weight 255 lb (116 kg)
Career information
High school Harvard-Westlake
(Los Angeles, California)
College Stanford (1997–2001)
NBA draft 2001 / Round: 1 / Pick: 18th overall
Selected by the Houston Rockets
Pro playing career 2001–present
Career history
20012008 New Jersey Nets
2008 Memphis Grizzlies
2008–2009 Minnesota Timberwolves
20092012 Atlanta Hawks
2012–2013 Boston Celtics
2013 Washington Wizards
2014–present Brooklyn Nets
Career highlights and awards
Stats at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Jason Paul Collins (born December 2, 1978) is an American professional basketball center for the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Collins attended Stanford University, where he was an All-American in 2000–01. He was selected in the first round with the 18th overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft.

After the 2012–13 NBA season concluded, Collins publicly came out as gay. He became a free agent and did not play again until February 23, 2014, when he signed with the Nets and became the first publicly gay athlete to play in any of four major North American pro sports leagues.

Early life

Collins was born in Northridge, California. He was born eight minutes ahead of his twin brother Jarron, who also became an NBA player.12

They graduated from Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles.3 He and Jarron won two California Interscholastic Federation state titles during their four-year careers with a combined record of 123–10. Collins broke the California career rebounding record with 1,500.45 Collins was backed up by Jason Segel, who USA Today opined might have ended up being the most famous player from the team.6

College career

Collins played with brother Jarron for the Stanford Cardinal in the Pacific-10 Conference (Pac-10).1 In 2001, Collins was named to All-Pac-10 first team,7 and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) voted him to their third-team All-American team.8

He finished his college career ranked first in Stanford history for field goal percentage (.608) and third in blocked shots (89).9

Professional career

New Jersey Nets (2002–2008)

As a rookie along with Richard Jefferson, Collins played a significant role in the New Jersey Nets' first ever NBA Finals berth in 2002 against the Los Angeles Lakers. During this Finals appearance, Collins acknowledged that he is not really 7 feet tall as he has been listed since his junior year of college. He is actually about 4 inches shorter.10

In the 2002–03 NBA season Collins took over the starting center role for the Nets and helped the franchise back to the NBA Finals. During that season, Collins averaged 5.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Prior to the 2004–05 season, he signed a $25 million contract extension with New Jersey for five more years.citation needed During his time with the Nets, he averaged 4.4 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.

Collins began the 2007-08 season with the Nets and averaged 1.4 and 2.1 rebounds per game through 43 games, most of them as their starting center.

Memphis, Minnesota, and Atlanta (2008–2012)

On February 4, 2008, Collins was traded along with cash considerations to the Memphis Grizzlies for Stromile Swift.11 He finished the season averaging 2.6 points and 2.9 rebounds per game coming from the bench.

On June 26, 2008, Collins was dealt to the Minnesota Timberwolves in an eight-player deal involving Kevin Love and O. J. Mayo.12 During the season, Collins averaged 1.8 points and 2.3 rebounds per game through 31 games, in which he started 22. His best game was in November 26, 2008 against the Phoenix Suns, when he scored 8 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. After his contract expired at the end of the 2008–09 NBA season, the Timberwolves' management decided not to re-sign him.citation needed

Collins signed with the Atlanta Hawks on September 2, 2009.13 Collins re-signed with the Hawks in the 2010 offseason.14

In 2010–11, the fifth-seeded Hawks defeated the fourth-seeded Orlando Magic as Collins slowed the Magic's dominant center, Dwight Howard. After Game 4 in the series, then-Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy called Collins' play "the best defense on [Howard] all year".15 After two seasons and a half with the Hawks, Collins averaged 1.5 points and 1.6 rebounds per game.

Boston, Washington (2012–2013)

On July 31, 2012, Collins signed an undisclosed deal with the Boston Celtics.16 He played in 32 games with the team, starting in 7 of them. During that time, he averaged 1.2 points and 1.6 rebounds per game.

On February 21, 2013, Collins and Leandro Barbosa were traded to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Jordan Crawford.17 He played in 6 games with the Wizards, starting in two of them.

On April 29, 2013, after the season had already concluded, Collins publicly came out as gay, becoming the first active male athlete from one of the four major North American professional team sports to publicly do so.1819 Collins became a free agent in July 2013, and stated that he intended to pursue another contract.20 He was not invited by any team to training camp, but he worked out at his home waiting for an opportunity.1921

Brooklyn Nets (2014–present)

Collins huddles with the Nets before playing the Washington Wizards in 2014

On February 23, 2014, Collins signed a 10-day contract to rejoin the Nets, who had since moved to Brooklyn.22 Nets coach Jason Kidd, who became good friends with Collins while teammates in New Jersey from 2001 to 2008, was an advocate of signing Collins.2321 Collins played 11 minutes that night against the Lakers at the Staples Center, becoming the first publicly gay athlete to play in any of the four major North American pro sports leagues.2425 He was scoreless, but provided solid defense in the post as the Nets outscored the Lakers by eight while he played; Brooklyn won the game by six, 108–102.2426

Collins wore jersey number 46 in his first game, the only number the team had available, but planned to wear No. 98—the same he wore with Boston and Washington—going forward.21 Collins chose to wear No. 98 in honor of Matthew Shepard whose 1998 murder was widely reported as a hate crime, and ultimately led to the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.27 Collins' jersey rose to the top spot for sales at NBAStore.com, and the NBA announced that proceeds from the sales, as well as proceeds from auctions of Collins' autographed game-worn jerseys, will benefit two LGBT supporting charities, the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN).27

On March 5, 2014, Collins signed a second 10-day contract with the Nets.2829 On March 15, 2014, Collins signed with the Nets for the rest of the season.30

Player profile

Through the 2012–13 season, Collins had very low career averages in the NBA of 3.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 0.5 blocks, and 41 percent shooting from the field. He has never averaged more than seven points or seven rebounds in a season. However, the basketball analytics community valued his defense through measurements not typically found in a boxscore, namely his ability to increase the differential between his team's scoring and their opponents'. Collins is a physical player defending the post, boxes out well, and excels at setting screens.15 He is precise in executing coaches' defensive strategies, and he is able to read the opponents' movements well and communicate on defense.21 He also has a reputation for being a team leader, and earned consistent praise for his professionalism and intelligence on the court.1521

Personal life

Collins was in an eight-year relationship with former WNBA center Carolyn Moos, and the two were engaged to be married, but Collins called off the wedding in 2009.31

Coming out

In the cover story of the May 6, 2013 issue of Sports Illustrated, written by Collins himself and posted on the magazine's website on April 29, 2013, he came out as gay, becoming the first active male athlete from one of the four major North American professional team sports to publicly do so.323318 He wrote that he wished to maintain his privacy in regard to specific details of his personal life, and that he is not in a relationship. Collins also said a "notorious antigay hate crime", the murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998, led him to choose "98" for his jersey number, in Shepard's honor. Collins called the number "a statement to myself, my family and my friends."34

Following his announcement, Collins has received high praise and support for deciding to publicly reveal that he is gay.32 Fellow NBA star Kobe Bryant praised his decision, as did others from around the league, including NBA commissioner David Stern.32 President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, former president Bill Clinton, and Collins' corporate sponsor Nike were also among those offering their praise and support for Collins.32 However, ESPN basketball analyst Chris Broussard stated that he did not believe that Collins can "live an openly homosexual lifestyle" and be a Christian,32 but thought that Collins "displayed bravery with his announcement".35 Collins, a Christian, responded by saying "This is all about tolerance and acceptance and America is the best country in the world because we're all entitled to our opinions and beliefs but we don't have to agree. And obviously I don't agree with his statement."36 The Guardian called it significant for LGBT acceptance "as professional sports had long been seen as the final frontier."37 Given the interest in major league team sports in the United States, the Christian Science Monitor wrote that Collins' announcement was "likely to put wind in the sails of this trend" of acceptance of gay rights in U.S. public opinion.33 Former tennis player Martina Navratilova, who came out as a lesbian in 1981, called Collins a "game-changer" for team sports, which she referred to as one of the last areas where homophobia remained.3839

Collins' former fiancee, Carolyn Moos, expressed conflicted feelings and said she only learned Collins was gay shortly before the Sports Illustrated cover story.31

On the day it was released, the Sports Illustrated story drew a record 3.713 million visitors to the magazine’s website, SI.com.31

The New York Times called his 2014 signing with Brooklyn "perhaps basketball’s most celebrated and scrutinized 10-day contract." His No. 98 jersey became the top seller on the NBA's online store.40

NBA career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2001–02 New Jersey 77 9 18.3 .421 .500 .701 3.9 1.1 .4 .6 4.5
2002–03 New Jersey 81 66 23.5 .414 .000 .763 4.5 1.1 .6 .5 5.7
2003–04 New Jersey 78 78 28.5 .424 .000 .739 5.1 2.0 .9 .7 5.9
2004–05 New Jersey 80 80 31.8 .412 .333 .656 6.1 1.3 .9 .9 6.4
2005–06 New Jersey 71 70 26.7 .397 .250 .512 4.8 1.0 .6 .6 3.6
2006–07 New Jersey 80 78 23.1 .364 .000 .465 4.0 .6 .5 .5 2.1
2007–08 New Jersey 43 23 15.9 .426 .000 .389 2.1 .4 .3 .2 1.4
2007–08 Memphis 31 3 15.7 .508 .000 .526 2.9 .2 .4 .5 2.6
2008–09 Minnesota 31 22 13.6 .314 .000 .464 2.3 .4 .3 .4 1.8
2009–10 Atlanta 24 0 4.8 .348 .000 .000 .6 .2 .1 .1 .7
2010–11 Atlanta 49 28 12.1 .479 1.000 .659 2.1 .4 .2 .2 2.0
2011–12 Atlanta 30 10 10.3 .400 .000 .467 1.6 .3 .1 .1 1.3
2012–13 Boston 32 7 10.3 .348 .000 .700 1.6 .2 .3 .2 1.2
2012–13 Washington 6 2 9.0 .167 .000 1.000 1.3 .3 .3 .7 .7
Career 713 476 20.8 .410 .226 .647 3.8 .9 .5 .5 3.6

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2002 New Jersey 17 0 13.4 .364 .000 .658 2.4 .4 .3 .4 2.9
2003 New Jersey 20 20 26.5 .363 .000 .836 6.3 .9 .7 .6 5.9
2004 New Jersey 11 11 24.2 .368 .000 .750 4.0 1.5 .3 .9 3.6
2005 New Jersey 4 4 32.0 .235 .000 .375 6.5 .3 .5 .0 2.8
2006 New Jersey 11 11 27.5 .360 .000 .591 5.0 .3 .5 .2 2.8
2007 New Jersey 12 12 27.4 .571 .000 .364 3.3 .2 .6 .3 2.3
2010 Atlanta 3 0 3.3 .600 .000 .000 1.7 .0 .0 .0 2.0
2011 Atlanta 12 9 13.2 .643 .000 .375 1.4 .1 .4 .3 1.8
2012 Atlanta 5 4 17.0 .545 .000 .000 2.4 .0 .2 .0 2.4
Career 95 71 21.4 .400 .000 .677 3.8 .5 .4 .4 3.3

Awards

On August 2, 2013, Collins was among the first class of inductees into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame.41

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Moore, David Leon (March 20, 2001). "Collins twins have Stanford standing tall". USA Today. Retrieved April 29, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Suns get rights to Jarron Collins". InsideHoops.com. October 26, 2009. Retrieved May 8, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Fastbreak to Silver Screen". Daily News of Los Angeles. October 30, 1996. 
  4. ^ "Jason Collins". GoStanford.com. Stanford University. Retrieved September 23, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Boys Basketball: Player of the Year". Los Angeles Daily News. March 31, 1997. Retrieved April 29, 2013. (subscription required)
  6. ^ "Jason Collins played high school basketball with Jason Segel". sports.yahoo.com. Dan Devine. Retrieved April 30, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Pac-12 Conference 2011–12 Men's Basketball Media Guide". Pac-12 Conference. 2011. p. 120. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  8. ^ "All-America – Division I (2000's)". nabc.org. Archived from the original on April 29, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Stanford's Jason Collins Declares For The NBA Draft". pac-12.com. May 7, 2001. Retrieved May 11, 2013. 
  10. ^ By Bloomberg News (2003-06-15). "Tall Tales in N.B.A. Don't Fool Players". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  11. ^ "Grizzlies acquire center Jason Collins from Nets". NBA.com. February 4, 2008. Retrieved April 29, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Bulls go for Rose over Beasley in NBA draft; Mayo, Love swap places". ESPN. 2008-06-26. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  13. ^ Hawks sign C Jason Collins. September 2, 2009. Retrieved on September 3, 2009.
  14. ^ "Atlanta Hawks Re-Sign Jason Collins". NBA.com. 2010-07-29. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  15. ^ a b c Haberstroh, Tom (April 30, 2013). "Jason Collins a no-stats All-Star". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 3, 2013. (subscription required)
  16. ^ "Celtics Sign Jason Collins". NBA.com. July 31, 2012. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Wizards Acquire Collins and Barbosa From Boston". NBA.com. February 21, 2013. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  18. ^ a b "Reaction to Jason Collins' announcement". ESPN.com. April 29, 2013. Archived from the original on April 30, 2013. 
  19. ^ a b Golliver, Ben (February 24, 2014). "Nets’ Jason Collins becomes first openly gay player in NBA". SI.com. Archived from the original on February 24, 2014. 
  20. ^ "N.B.A. Center Jason Collins Comes Out as Gay". New York Times. April 29, 2013. Retrieved April 29, 2013. 
  21. ^ a b c d e Keh, Andrew (February 23, 2014). "Jason Collins Signs With Nets, Becoming First Openly Gay N.B.A. Player". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 23, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Nets Sign Jason Collins to 10-Day Contract". NBA.com. February 23, 2014. Retrieved February 23, 2014. 
  23. ^ Wojnarowski, Adrian; Spears, Marc (February 23, 2014). "Nets sign Jason Collins, NBA’s first openly gay player". yahoo.com. Archived from the original on February 23, 2014. 
  24. ^ a b Pincus, Eric (February 23, 2014). "Lakers' rally falls short in 108-102 loss to Nets". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on February 24, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Openly gay basketballer Jason Collins signs landmark NBA deal with Brooklyn Nets". The Sydney Morning Herald. AFP. February 24, 2014. Archived from the original on February 24, 2014. 
  26. ^ Mazzeo, Mike (February 23, 2014). "Rapid Reaction: Nets 108, Lakers 102". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on February 24, 2014. 
  27. ^ a b NBA Will Donate Sales Of Jason Collins’ Jersey To LGBT Groups: Jason Collins’ jersey has seen “unprecedented” sales since he became the first openly gay athlete in a major U.S. sport.
  28. ^ "Nets Sign Jason Collins to a Second 10-Day Contract". NBA.com. March 5, 2014. Retrieved March 5, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Nets sign Jason Collins again". ESPN.com. March 5, 2014. Retrieved March 5, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Nets Sign Jason Collins for Remainder of the Season". NBA.com. March 15, 2014. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 
  31. ^ a b c Thursday, May 2, 2013 5:26 PM EDT Facebook Twitter RSS (2010-02-09). "NBA’s Jason Collins’ former fiancée Carolyn Moos says gay announcement ‘a lot to process’ | Toronto Star". Thestar.com. Retrieved 2013-05-02. 
  32. ^ a b c d e "NBA player Jason Collins comes out as gay". bbc.co.uk. April 29, 2013. Retrieved April 29, 2013. 
  33. ^ a b Grier, Peter (April 29, 2013). "NBA's Jason Collins comes out: What does that mean for gay rights?". yahoo.com. Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on April 30, 2013. 
  34. ^ Collins, Jason; Franz, Lidz (April 29, 2013). "Why NBA center Jason Collins is coming out now". SI.com. Archived from the original on April 30, 2013. 
  35. ^ Mitchell, Houston (April 30, 2013). "Chris Broussard clarifies his ESPN remarks about Jason Collins". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 3, 2013. 
  36. ^ Bruni, Frank (April 30, 2013). "Q&A with Jason Collins". The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2013. 
  37. ^ Felt, Hunter (April 30, 2013). "Why Jason Collins matters". The Guardian. Archived from the original on April 30, 2013. 
  38. ^ Navratilova, Martina (April 29, 2013). "Martina Navratilova: Jason Collins a 'game-changer'". SI.com. Archived from the original on April 30, 2013. 
  39. ^ Wertheim, Jon (April 30, 2013). "A reluctant trailblazer, Navratilova laid groundwork for Collins". SI.com. Archived from the original on April 30, 2013. 
  40. ^ Keh, Andrew (March 2, 2014). "Collins’s Brooklyn Debut Recalls Robinson’s in 1947". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 4, 2014. 
  41. ^ "National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame’s Inaugural Class Announced | Out Magazine". Out.com. 2013-06-18. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 

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