Feb 24, 2014, 12:04 AM EDT
That is what history looks like.
Yes, it looks like every other NBA game, although that is sort of the point. Jason Collins became the first openly gay player in the NBA when he checked in with 10:28 left in the second quarter as the Brooklyn Nets visited the Los Angeles Lakers. He played 10:37 in the game and gave the Nets some size, a couple of rebounds, some very strong screens, no points (he was never much of an offensive threat even at his peak) and was generally solid on the court.
Collins didn’t want to read much into this night.
“I don’t have time to really think about history right now. I have to focus on my job tonight,” he said before the game.
But it is symbolic and historic. American culture is changing and we tend to see that not through the slow slog of attitudes changing from generation to generation (even though that’s mostly how things change), we tend to see it in symbolic moments. This was one of those symbolic moments. One where some confused or frightened teenagers throughout the land can look up to him and see that things get better. So much better. There’s few people better suited to this spotlight, this task.
We’re lucky to get to witness it.
- Report: Phil Jackson’s camp doesn’t believe agreement with Knicks is close 8
- PBT Extra: Can Phil Jackson help right the ship in New York? 13
- Phil Jackson reportedly close to taking Knicks job, nobody asked Carmelo about it 37
- PBT Power Rankings: Tell me again how the Spurs are too old…. 13
- Sunday NBA grades: All hail the unstoppable Jodie Meeks 14