Brooklyn Nets brass, players react to Jason Collins' announcement

04/29/2013 6:37 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro
On Monday, it was learned in an exclusive Sports Illustrated article that 12-year NBA veteran Jason Collins came out as gay, giving a first-hand account of his life story and his decision to come out as the first openly gay male athlete in American professional team sports.

Prior to Game 5 of Brooklyn’s Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against Chicago, current Nets general manager Billy King, All-Star center (and fellow Stanford alum) Brook Lopez, and shooting guard Joe Johnson, who played with Collins in Atlanta, released official statements about Collins’ decision, which are provided below courtesy of Brooklyn's Media Relations department.

Brook Lopez: “It is an honor for me to call Jason Collins a friend. I admire his dignity as well as his courage to come out. I'll always have his back.”

Joe Johnson: “Jason Collins was one of the best teammates I've ever had. I respect his tremendous courage to come out and will always support him.”

Billy King: “Jason Collins was a vital member of the New Jersey Nets for six and a half years, and as an executive with a competing NBA team, I always respected the standard he set for team play and the example he set for the league in playing with integrity and purpose. He exemplifies everything we look for in players, and for those players and associates within our organization, our primary focus is creating the most accepting and respectful environment for everyone to succeed.”

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