And with that, former New Jersey and Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins has officially retired from the NBA. Collins, who played 13 seasons in the NBA, spent eight of those with the Nets.
Collins will hold a press conference at Barclays Center before the Nets-Bucks game Wednesday to make things official. The backdrop, he says, is ideal.
The day will be especially meaningful for me because the Nets will be playing the Bucks, who are coached by Jason Kidd, my former teammate and my coach in Brooklyn. It was Jason who cheered my decision to come out by posting on Twitter: "Jason’s sexuality doesn’t change the fact that he is a great friend and was a great teammate."
Collins announced his retirement on Derek Jeter's website The Players' Tribune in a beautifully written piece which discusses his time in the NBA and his journey as being the first openly gay player in the league.
Today, I am retiring from the NBA after 13 seasons. Most people reading this probably don’t know me from SportsCenter. Most people know me as "the gay basketball player." I have been an openly gay man for approximately three percent of my life. I have been a professional basketball player for almost half of it.
It's a fantastic piece, where Collins talks about how he hid his sexuality from his teammates, how he spent lonely nights in hotel rooms watching TV, while on the road, because he didn't want to go out on the town and be something he wasn't. He also talks about the time Tim Hardaway called him to tell him he was proud of him, and his interactions with President Obama.
Collins then goes into the conversations he had with his former teammate and then head coach of the Nets, Jason Kidd, who was vocal in signing Collins to his first 10-day contract.
Kidd played an important role in Collins being with the Nets last season, as the first openly gay active player in the history of the NBA, and on a night in which Kidd returns to Brooklyn to face the Nets, Collins announces his retirement.
Best of luck in whatever it is you decide to do, Mr. Collins. I suspect you have greater things left to accomplish off the basketball court, and I know we at NetsDaily are looking forward in following your post-NBA career.
- I’m Out - Jason Collins - The Players' Tribune
- Jason Collins, first openly gay player, retires: our indifference is his triumph - The Guardian
- Jason Collins announces his NBA retirement - Video - Sarah Kustok - YES Network
- Jason Collins retires, strong legacy intact - Cyd Ziegler - OutSports
- Jason Collins demolishes the 'distraction' myth of gay athletes coming out - Jim Buzinski - OutSports
- WATCH: Jason Collins, ex-Nets forward, announces retirement (Video) - Charles Curtis - Star-Ledger
- Jason Collins, the first openly gay NBA player, calls it quits - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Nets: Jason Kidd helped Jason Collins make history - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Collins, NBA's 1st openly gay player, retires - AP