Jason Collins has made history by becoming the first active gay athlete to come out of the closet in American team sports.
Even before Collins’s big announcement, he was well-known around the NBA. Since the 2001-2002 season, he’s be a journeyman in the league, playing for six different teams.
“Ever heard of a parlor game called Three Degrees of Jason Collins?” Collins asked in the Sports Illustrated that revealed his sexual preference. “If you're in the league, and I haven't been your teammate, I surely have been one of your teammates' teammates. Or one of your teammates' teammates' teammates.”
In recent years, Collins has done what he can to keep a job in professional basketball. In the 2012-2013 NBA season, he played 32 games with the Boston Celtics and ended the year playing six games for the Washington Wizards.
Collins is hoping to continue his career next year, but there’s no guarantee a team will sign him. He’s a 34-year-old free agent with declining skills. In 38 total games, he averaged 1.1 points, 1.6 rebounds and 0.2 assists per game.
Coming out of Stanford, though, Collins made an immediate impact in the NBA. As a rookie, he played in 77 games for a New Jersey Nets team that lost in the NBA Finals. The following year, he started 66 times en route to another Finals appearance with the club.
The 2005-2005 season was probably the best of Collins’s career. He registered career highs with 6.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per contests, while starting in 80 games.
Collins is also known for being one of the few identical twins to ever become professional basketball player. His brother, Jarron Collins, had a 10-year career in the NBA after also going to Stanford.