Jason Paul Collins (born December 2, 1978) is an American retired professional basketball player who played 13 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). A center, Collins played college basketball for Stanford University, where he was an All-American in 2000–01. Collins was selected by the Houston Rockets as the 18th overall pick in the 2001 NBA draft. He went on to play for the New Jersey Nets, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards and Brooklyn Nets.
Collins with the Nets in March 2014
|Born||December 2, 1978|
|Listed height||7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)|
|Listed weight||255 lb (116 kg)|
(Los Angeles, California)
|NBA draft||2001 / Round: 1 / Pick: 18th overall|
|Selected by the Houston Rockets|
|Number||34, 35, 98|
|2001–2008||New Jersey Nets|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||2,621 (3.6 ppg)|
|Rebounds||2,706 (3.7 rpg)|
|Blocks||359 (0.5 bpg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
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 2014, when he signed with the Nets and became the first openly gay athlete to play in any of four major North American pro sports leagues. In April 2014, Collins was featured on the cover of Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World".
They graduated from Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles. 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. Collins was backed up by Jason Segel, who USA Today opined might have ended up being the most famous player from the team.
Collins played with brother Jarron for the Stanford Cardinal in the Pacific-10 Conference (Pac-10). In 2001, Collins was named to All-Pac-10 first team, and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) voted him to their third-team All-American team.
New Jersey Nets (2001–2008)Edit
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 was measured 6 ft 10¼ in at the 2001 NBA combine.
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.
Collins signed with the Atlanta Hawks on September 2, 2009. Collins re-signed with the Hawks in the 2010 offseason. 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".
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. Collins became a free agent in July 2013, and stated that he intended to pursue another contract. He was not invited by any team to training camp, but he worked out at his home waiting for an opportunity.
On February 23, 2014, Collins signed a 10-day contract to rejoin the Nets, who had since moved to Brooklyn. 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. 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 professional sports leagues. Collins wore jersey number 46 (the only number the team had available at the time) in his first game of the season, but planned to wear No. 98—the same number he wore with Boston and Washington—going forward. 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 passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. 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, would benefit the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN).
On November 19, 2014, Collins announced his retirement from professional basketball after 13 seasons in the NBA.
Collins had low career averages in the NBA of 3.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, 0.5 blocks, and 41 percent shooting from the field, and 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. Collins was a physical player defending the post, boxed out well, and excelled at setting screens. He was precise in executing coaches' defensive strategies, and he read the opponents' movements well and communicated on defense. He also had a reputation for being a team leader, and earned consistent praise for his professionalism and intelligence on the court.
In the cover story of the May 6, 2013 issue of Sports Illustrated, a first person story by Collins with journalist Franz Lidz, 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. 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."
Following his announcement, Collins has received high praise and support for deciding to publicly reveal that he is gay. Fellow NBA star Kobe Bryant praised his decision, as did others from around the league, including NBA commissioner David Stern. 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. However, ESPN basketball analyst Chris Broussard stated that he did not believe that Collins can "live an openly homosexual lifestyle" and be a Christian, but thought that Collins "displayed bravery with his announcement". 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." The Guardian called it significant for LGBT acceptance "as professional sports had long been seen as the final frontier." 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. 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.
Collins' former fiancée, Carolyn Moos, expressed conflicted feelings and said she only learned Collins was gay shortly before the Sports Illustrated cover story.
On the day it was released, the Sports Illustrated story drew a record 3.7 million visitors to the magazine's website, SI.com.
NBA career statisticsEdit
|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|
- "Jason Collins featured on cover of Time's Most Influential People - FOX Sports". April 25, 2014.
- Moore, David Leon (March 20, 2001). "Collins twins have Stanford standing tall". USA Today. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
- "Suns get rights to Jarron Collins". InsideHoops.com. October 26, 2009. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
- "Fastbreak to Silver Screen". Daily News of Los Angeles. October 30, 1996.
- "Jason Collins". GoStanford.com. Stanford University. Archived from the original on June 15, 2013. Retrieved September 23, 2009.
- "Boys Basketball: Player of the Year". Los Angeles Daily News. March 31, 1997. Archived from the original on April 9, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2013.(subscription required)
- "Jason Collins played high school basketball with Jason Segel". sports.yahoo.com. Dan Devine. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
- "Pac-12 Conference 2011–12 Men's Basketball Media Guide". Pac-12 Conference. 2011. p. 120. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- "All-America – Division I (2000's)". nabc.org. Archived from the original on April 29, 2013.
- "Stanford's Jason Collins Declares For The NBA Draft". pac-12.com. May 7, 2001. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
- Bloomberg News (June 15, 2003). "Tall Tales in N.B.A. Don't Fool Players". Nytimes.com. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
- "DraftExpressProfile: Jason Collins, Stats, Comparisons, and Outlook".
- "Jason Collins: First Active Gay NBA Player Retires". Retrieved May 28, 2015.
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- Hawks sign C Jason Collins. September 2, 2009. Retrieved on September 3, 2009.
- "Atlanta Hawks Re-Sign Jason Collins". NBA.com. July 29, 2010. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
- Haberstroh, Tom (April 30, 2013). "Jason Collins a no-stats All-Star". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 3, 2013.(subscription required)
- "Celtics Sign Jason Collins". NBA.com. July 31, 2012. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- "Wizards Acquire Collins and Barbosa From Boston". NBA.com. February 21, 2013. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- "Reaction to Jason Collins' announcement". ESPN.com. April 29, 2013. Archived from the original on May 1, 2013.
- 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.
- "N.B.A. Center Jason Collins Comes Out as Gay". New York Times. April 29, 2013. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
- 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.
- "Nets Sign Jason Collins to 10-Day Contract". NBA.com. February 23, 2014. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
- 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.
- 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.
- "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.
- Mazzeo, Mike (February 23, 2014). "Rapid Reaction: Nets 108, Lakers 102". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on February 24, 2014.
- "NBA Will Donate Sales Of Jason Collins' Jersey To LGBT Groups".
- "Nets Sign Jason Collins to a Second 10-Day Contract". NBA.com. March 5, 2014. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
- "Nets sign Jason Collins again". ESPN.com. March 5, 2014. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
- "Nets Sign Jason Collins for Remainder of the Season". NBA.com. March 15, 2014. Retrieved March 15, 2014.
- Collins, Jason (November 19, 2014). "Parting shot: Jason Collins announces NBA retirement in his own words". SI.com. Retrieved November 19, 2014.
- May 2, 2013 5:26 PM EDT Facebook Twitter RSS (February 9, 2010). "NBA's Jason Collins' former fiancée Carolyn Moos says gay announcement 'a lot to process' | Toronto Star". Thestar.com. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
- "Why NBA center Jason Collins is coming out now, Franz Lidz 04.29.13 - Sports Illustrated
- "The story behind Jason Collins' story: How it happened, 04.29.13 - Sports Illustrated
- "NBA player Jason Collins comes out as gay". bbc.co.uk. April 29, 2013. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
- 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.
- Collins, Jason; Franz, Lidz (April 29, 2013). "Why NBA center Jason Collins is coming out now". SI.com. Archived from the original on May 1, 2013.
- Mitchell, Houston (April 30, 2013). "Chris Broussard clarifies his ESPN remarks about Jason Collins". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
- Bruni, Frank (April 30, 2013). "Q&A with Jason Collins". The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
- Felt, Hunter (April 30, 2013). "Why Jason Collins matters". The Guardian. Archived from the original on April 30, 2013.
- Navratilova, Martina (April 29, 2013). "Martina Navratilova: Jason Collins a 'game-changer'". SI.com. Archived from the original on April 30, 2013.
- Wertheim, Jon (April 30, 2013). "A reluctant trailblazer, Navratilova laid groundwork for Collins". SI.com. Archived from the original on April 30, 2013.
- 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.
- Galanes, Philip (June 27, 2014). "Speak Your Own Truth, on Your Own Terms". The New York Times. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
- Ginsberg, Merle; Baum, Gary (January 23, 2014). "Jason Collins Is Dating 'The Help' Producer Brunson Green". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
- "National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame's Inaugural Class Announced | Out Magazine". Out.com. June 18, 2013. Retrieved December 5, 2013.