Openly gay player Jason Collins signs with Brooklyn Nets

Jason Collins

(CNN) — Jason Collins became the first openly gay man in the NBA when he signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday.

Collins, who lives in Los Angeles, was expected to be in uniform for the Nets’ game against the Los Angeles Lakers at 6 p.m. PT, the team said in a written statement.

“Jason told us that his goal was to earn another contract with an NBA team. Today, I want to commend him on achieving his goal,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “I know everyone in the NBA family is excited for him and proud that our league fosters an inclusive and respectful environment.”

Last year, the center, who was a free agent at the time, made the disclosure about his sexuality in an April column that appeared in Sports Illustrated magazine.

“I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, ‘I’m different.’ If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m raising my hand,” he wrote.

Collins, 35, is a big, end-of-bench bruiser who can harangue opposing centers. Over 12 seasons, he has a career average of 3.6 points per game, and he hasn’t averaged more than 2 points a games since his 2006-07 season as a Net when they were located in New Jersey.

By Steve Almasy

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