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Welcome back Jason Collins! One of my favorite all time Nets. He will now be the first openly gay athlete in professional sports #Brooklyn
— Jon Gross (@J_Gross31) February 23, 2014
— Ryan Busch (@BuschLeague15) February 23, 2014
— Tim Carr (@Tim_Carr) February 23, 2014
— Juan Martinez (@jrobertmartinez) February 23, 2014
IMO 2 compare Jason Collins 2 Jackie Robinson is an abomination. JR could actually play at a high level while JC is off the scrap heap #Nets
— Eye Cypher (@truckyocouch) February 23, 2014
But, seriously it's phenomenal Jason Collins signed with the Nets, because if anyone even looks at him funny KG will literally kill them.
— kelly (@kelly_erin) February 23, 2014
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Hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday. Today should be a pretty cool day!
— jarron collins (@jarronctwin) February 23, 2014
The Brooklyn Nets will sign 35-year-old center Jason Collins to a ten-day contract, making him the first active openly gay male professional athlete in one of the four major U.S. sports, according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
Collins will reportedly be available for tonight's game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Nets were reportedly in the running for forward Glen Davis, who was recently bought out by the Orlando Magic. But Davis will reportedly join the Los Angeles Clippers, teaming up with former head coach Doc Rivers and filling their need for a third big man.
Collins hasn't played since the 2012-2013 season, when he suited up for the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards. Collins wore #98 as a subtle tribute to Matthew Shepard, a gay student who was murdered because of his sexuality in 1998.
Collins played with the Nets for six and a half seasons between 2001 and 2008, playing with Nets coach Jason Kidd during that time. He also played briefly with Nets guard Joe Johnson for the Atlanta Hawks, and last season with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics.
Davis was recently bought out by the Orlando Magic, and is reportedly deciding between the Nets and Los Angeles Clippers. Doc Rivers, Davis's former coach when Davis played for the Boston Celtics, is the coach and general manager for the Clippers, and would be able to offer Davis more playing time, but Nets -- particularly Kevin Garnett, Davis's former teammate -- are recruiting Davis to join them in Brooklyn.
Davis's buyout becomes official Monday, and it's expected that he makes a decision before that deadline. If he decides to join the Clippers, the Nets are expected to tender a ten-day contract to Collins, which would make him the first openly gay active player in one of the four major professional sports.
The 35-year-old Collins came out at the end of the 2013 season and has not played since. The Nets confirmed that they worked him out in a private workout, with general manager Billy King confirming he's "in shape."
Hello Joe. Thank you for your continued support of The Brooklyn Game. If you like what you read here, keep it going by picking something up at The Brooklyn Game Store. Your support keeps us shooting out posts like Mirza Teletovic, and hopefully at a more successful clip than he shot last night. Thank you!
Here's a roundup of last night's Nets festivities.
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Brooklyn Nets announcers Ryan Ruocco and Mike Fratello were incredulous about Jermaine O'Neal's free throw shooting, and the video shows they had every reason to be.
In the Nets' 93-86 loss to the Golden State Warriors, O'Neal took longer than Joe Johnson during the three-point shootout to take his free throws.
The NBA rules specifically dictate that players can only take ten seconds to shoot a free throw, and O'Neal whizzes (sleepstands?) right past that. The first took at least 11 seconds (0:04-0:15), the second 13 seconds (0:40-0:53), and the third 13 seconds (1:13-1:26). It's obvious to anyone with a pulse and a clock, and around the one-minute mark, you can hear Ruocco and Fratello count down incredulously.
The Nets deservedly lost this game -- there's no excuse for giving up a 23-13 game to 35-year-old Jermaine O'Neal -- but that's also three obvious points added on the board in a close game, which result in free throw violations getting called against the wrong team.
The Nets stumbled out of the gate in both halves, but some strong play from their reserves kept this close throughout. Some terrible crunch-time decision making led to a banked-in Stephen Curry 3 and two Nets turnovers, and the Nets dropped this one.
Overall, not the worst showing from start to finish, but they couldn't hit three-pointers (not a normal weakness), and couldn't control the interior (a very normal weakness). They need help, and tonight was another example of that.
His crossover looked lethal once again, scorched the net with midrange shots (which he's sneakily done at one of the league's best rates this year), and he even had some stretches of impassioned defense against Stephen Curry. This looks eerily like Deron Williams from mid-February 2013, and if that's what's getting started, the Nets are in for a nice few months.
Shaun Livingston hitting the ground hard is the least appealing sight in the NBA. Livingston left the game early with a bruised tailbone and did not return. X-rays were negative, which is a good sign. We'll see if he plays vs. the Lakers.
Not a lot created out of the Joe Post, and didn't get going except for a brief moment in the fourth quarter, hitting a big three-pointer as Kevin Garnett got fouled for an unconventional four-point play. But with the ball in his hands, Johnson turned the ball over twice in crunch time with the game on the line, and it spelled doom for the Nets.
Incredibly quiet until 6:05 in the fourth quarter, when he hit a tough shot over Steve Blake & Jordan Crawford in the low post for an and-one. But too many shots hit the front rim, which is a bad sign for Pierce's legs.
Started out the game with a really rough possession, passing up two chances for quick open layups and instead airballing a post-up opportunity. Jermaine O'Neal torched him defensively, but that's not all his fault: as the center, it's his responsibility to help all over the floor, and Garnett wasn't getting any help from his teammates.
Good Blatche is so good. Helped erase an early deficit with some smart play on both ends of the floor. Was the recipient of a pretty Deron Williams feed in the first, and also nabbed two on-ball steals that let him play point guard. Kept it going in the second by Blatche-Shaking and Blatche-Stepping on Marreese Speights, who may be the only player in Blatche's realm for big man absurdity. His prettiest play might have been a nifty feed to Alan Anderson in the second quarter, whipping a no-look feed to Alan Anderson at the rim.
Bad Blatche is so bad. Defensively, Blatche had some good possessions when he was already near the basket, but really struggled when he had to stray away from the paint.
Hit in the face in the third quarter by a Jermaine O'Neal elbow, and plugged his nose with a nose plug. That might seem obvious, but not for Andray Blatche.
Everywhere as usual. Even when he gets beat, he's not beat, as evidenced by his blocked shot on Harrison Barnes in the first quarter -- Barnes spun around Kirilenko, looked like he had just one player to beat, and Kirilenko snuck around Barnes's side to toss away his layup.
With Livingston injured by a bruised tailbone, the Nets started the third quarter with Kirilenko in his place, and he made two passes no other Nets player has the gall to make: a 60-foot outlet pass to a streaking Mirza Teletovic -- who was guarded, mind you -- for a layup, and a cross-court pass to Alan Anderson in the fourth quarter.
Hit the team's first three-pointer in the third quarter, so that's something.
Had a nice block in the first quarter and ran the floor better than Andray Blatche but when he's not hitting shots his value plummets. The Nets need help with interior defense and he's one reason why.
The script is eerily similar to last season: the Nets get off to a slow start in the beginning of the season, lose to the Spurs in their last game of the calendar year, beat the Thunder for the first game of the New Year, and finish off the season strong behind a resurgence from Deron Williams after the All-Star break.
Last season, Deron got his pep back in his step after a lengthy rest and series of cortisone shots. He competed at an ultra-high level and looked like the point guard Nets GM Billy King had traded for.
Deron showed Stephen Curry his signature crossover, and completely faked out the first Warrior to start in the All Star Game since
P.J. Carlesimo's best friend Latrell Sprewell, getting to the rim for a layup and drawing the foul.
For a brief moment, Andray Blatche remains a spinning vortex, devoid of context and continuum. He has no friends, no enemies, no neighbors. He exists as a totem in a dreamworld, waiting for the drop but never quite returning to a reality outside of his own solipsistic entrapment. After all: when everyone has been faked, what is left to conquer?
Or this is just a stupid GIF of Andray Blatche dream-shaking. Up to you.
Game in and game out, Andray Blatche gives it all. He takes defenders to school with his infinite number of tricks, and leads fast breaks like no other big man. He may give fans their fair share of headaches, but in the end, Blatche never fails to impress.
In tonight's game against the Golden State Warriors, Blatche took Marreese Speights to school with a series of head-fakes and ball-fakes, and finished for the easy deuce.
Only Blatche can make the patented Dream Shake look easy.
The Brooklyn Game fans have spoken. We present to you... the All-Time Nets All-Star Team.
PG: Jason Kidd, 2002-2003
Thanks to Raya Lim for collecting photos.
Tonight: The 25-27 Brooklyn Nets take on the 33-22 Golden State Warriors on their long circus road trip in California.
Starting Lineup: Deron Williams, Shaun Livingston, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett.
Injury report: The Warriors are without Andrew Bogut and David Lee, two frontcourt starters. The Nets are without new addition Marcus Thornton, who's battling food poisoning.
When & Where: 10:30 P.M. EST, Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA
Watch: YES Network
Listen: CBS WFAN 660 AM, 101.9 FM