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Jason Collins enters game, becomes first openly gay NBA player (VIDEO)

Brooklyn Nets v Los Angeles Lakers

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 23: Jason Collins #98 of the Brooklyn Nets looks on in the first half against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on February 23, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

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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.