Lakers’ 108-102 Loss Isn’t Real Story as Jason Collins Makes History

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The well-chronicled failures of the Lakers were pushed aside for a day, mercifully their fans would say, as national media members converged on Staples Center to cover Jason Collins, the NBA‘s first openly gay player.

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Jason Collin, left, of the Brooklyn Nets and Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers battle for position under the net in the second half at Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2024. (Credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

He came out in a Sports Illustrated story in April and had not been picked up by any team until the Brooklyn Nets signed him to a 10-day contract Sunday, a handful of hours before the Lakers lost to Brooklyn, 108-102.

It was historic, it was lauded by seemingly all involved, and it kept a lot of people unexpectedly busy. The Lakers fielded 40 media credential requests shortly after Collins officially signed.

He hadn’t played a game in more than 10 months, but he received warm applause from Lakers fans when he checked in with 10 minutes 28 seconds left in the second quarter.

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