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By The Numbers: Jason Collins

02/27/2014 10:08 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Jason Collins is very happy to be back in black (and white) with the Nets.(AP)
Jason Collins signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday and played that night against the Los Angeles Lakers, in the process becoming the first active openly gay athlete in any of the four major professional sports.

Whether Collins lasts 10 days, the rest of the season, or even the rest of his career in the black-and-white of Brooklyn, he has already made history as a player; now, however, the focus is on helping the Nets do the same by bringing home the franchise's first NBA Championship.

In honor of Collins' return to the NBA and the Nets, we present 10 facts - one for each day of Collins' contract - in the latest edition of By The Numbers.

18: Jason Collins was originally a Houston Rocket, selected No. 18 overall in the 2001 NBA Draft. That same night, however, the Nets traded the rights to their No. 7 overall pick, Eddie Griffin, to Houston for the rights to three other draftees: Collins, No. 23 overall pick Brandon Armstrong, and the No. 13 overall pick, a small forward by the name of Richard Jefferson.

6.4/6.1: Collins has never been an offensive threat, to be honest, as his career average through 2012-13 was 3.6 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. His "career" season, 2004-05, saw him start 80 games for the Nets and average career bests with 6.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.

6 1/2: In his first stint with the Nets, Collins spent six-plus seasons in New Jersey, reaching two NBA finals in his first two years and playing alongside Jason Kidd the entire time. However, that ended on Feb. 4, 2008, when Collins was traded to Memphis for Stromile Swift.

6: Overall, Collins has played for six NBA teams; in addition to his Nets and Grizzlies stints, he spent 2008-09 with the Atlanta Hawks, played three seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2009-12, and then split last season between the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards.

5: Collins signed his 10-day contract on Feb. 23, meaning it expires on March 4 and makes him eligible to play in five total games. The Nets beat the Lakers Sunday and (lost to) Portland on Wednesday, and Collins can still play against the Nuggets, Bucks, and Bulls.

1: Of that bunch, only one game will be played at Barclays Center, and it's the final one against Chicago on March 3. When he takes the court that night, it will have been six years and 33 days since his last home game as a Net, a Jan. 29, 2008 win over Milwaukee.

46: Although it wasn't his choice, Collins wore No. 46 in his re-debut with the Nets on Sunday, because it was the only extra jersey the team had available. He changed his number as of Wednesday's game, however, to the one he wanted…

98: …which is a number he began wearing while with the Celtics in 2012. Collins wears No. 98 in honor of Matthew Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student who beaten to death in October 1998.

1: Although he has only worn it once as of press time, said No. 98 quickly became a hot ticket - so hot, in fact, that on Tuesday, before he had even worn it, the jersey had become the top seller on NBA.com.

11: In his return to the NBA, Collins played 11 minutes in Sunday's game, missing his only field goal attempt but grabbing two rebounds and making one steal. He also committed five personal fouls.

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