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NEW YORK -- Jason Collins has been warmly received in his historic return to the NBA. [url=

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NEW YORK -- Jason Collins has been warmly received in his historic return to the NBA. Clayton Keller Jersey . Now its time for his own fans to welcome him back. More than a week after becoming the leagues first openly gay player, Collins will finally get to play a home game Monday night when the Brooklyn Nets host the Chicago Bulls. "It will be a lot of fun," Collins said. "I have some family and friends coming to the game. Im looking forward to seeing them and obviously the first home game." He has played hundreds in a Nets uniform, though it was a white, red and blue one, and the home games were in New Jersey. Plenty of fans and employees of the organization remain from when Collins played there from 2001-08, so he will likely be greeted by a loud ovation if he gets into the game. "Ive always said Im not worried about the reaction," said Nets coach Jason Kidd, who played with Collins when the franchise reached consecutive NBA Finals in 2003-03. "I think they will always support a Net. Hes been a Net before. I think theyll be excited to have him, but the big thing is him being able to help us defensively." Collins and the Nets have kept the focus as much on basketball as possible. They all view him as a big man who will willingly defend and foul -- he has racked up 10 of them already in four games -- who can help pass along 12 years of NBA experience to younger teammates such as Mason Plumlee and Andray Blatche. The fact that hes gay makes him much more than that outside the Nets locker room, but he thinks that story line will die down soon enough. "Theres only so many ways you can write the story, or tell the story, and then it will just be about basketball," he said during the middle of last week. Collins thought it had already reached that point, mistakenly believing that Saturdays victory in Milwaukee would be the first time reporters didnt want to talk to him after the game. Not quite yet. Collins may just be a 14th man on the roster to the Nets, but hes still far more than that to the fans he inspired from the moment he decided to come out in a Sports Illustrated article last April. "I think it is a big deal. Hes showing a lot of courage. Youre talking to a guy who was around when Jackie Robinson came in. Whats the difference? Its just as groundbreaking. I just hope hes judged as a basketball player," said Butch Pye, 69, of Castle Rock, Colo., who attended the Nets victory in Denver on Thursday. Collins debut is currently his only guaranteed home game. Hes nearing the end of the 10-day contract he signed on Feb. 23 before facing the Los Angeles Lakers. NBA rules allow teams to sign players to two 10-day deals, then have to sign them for the rest of the year if they want to keep them. There are plenty of reasons to retain Collins. He has brought plenty of positive attention and is making an impact in the gay and lesbian community, with the NBA pledging to donate at least $100,000 from sales of his No. 98 jersey to the Matthew Shepard Foundation and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network. But those having nothing to do with basketball, and the Nets stressed in the press release announcing Collins signing that the move was a basketball decision. He can still do enough to make it a wise one, even with just one basket so far. With Brook Lopez lost for the season and Kevin Garnetts minutes being monitored, Kidd needs a big man he trusts to fill in for a few minutes. And a guy like Collins can help even when hes not in the game. He has defended Shaquille ONeal and Tim Duncan in the NBA Finals, so knows what it takes to guard even the biggest stars, even if hes rarely the one doing it. "When I was a younger guy, I learned from Dikembe Mutombo and Alonzo Mourning. Its a cycle," Collins said. "Now that Im that old man at the end of the bench, that veteran, even though I may not be playing minutes, there definitely are ways I can help the team win." Kevin Connauton Jersey . MacArthur scored two goals, and the Senators outlasted Detroit in a testy third period to beat the Red Wings 4-2 on Saturday night. Niklas Hjalmarsson Jersey . - Aaron Rodgers makes tough throws that can leave fans of the Green Bay Packers speechless. . You can watch coverage on TSN, TSN2 and CTV beginning today at 3pm et/Noon pt. The championships will feature approximately 250 of Canadas best figure skaters in senior, junior and novice as they vie for spots on the national team, international assignments and will act as the final step in the 2014 Olympic qualification process.SAN FRANCISCO - The San Francisco 49ers lost another key defender for the remainder of the season, placing rookie nickel cornerback and top draft pick Jimmie Ward on injured reserve Saturday with a foot injury.It has been a tough week for the defence ahead of Sundays road game against the New York Giants. Ward was hurt in last Sundays overtime win at New Orleans, and its the same foot that needed surgery in March for a Jones fracture.Ward joins seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis on season-ending injured reserve. Willis season was ended Tuesday, and the team announced he would need surgery for a strained muscle in his left big toe. He was injured in the third quarter at St. Louis on Oct. 13.The 49ers (5-4) filled Wards roster spot with star linebacker Aldon Smith, who was added to the 53-man roster from the exempt list after he served a nine-game suspension by the league for violations of the NFLs substance-abuse and personal-conduct policies.He is set to make his season debut against the Giants, though in what capacity is unclear.Even defensive co-ordinator Vic Fangio wasnt sure what to expect from Smith, who also missed five games last season to undergo treatment following his September 20133 DUI arrest. Tobias Rieder Jersey. es a little rusty. Ive heard people say that hes in a better situation than he was last year, Fangio said Thursday. I dont really see it that way because last year he played in three regular-season games and was gone for five weeks.He hadnt played in any regular-season games and hadnt played and missed the first nine games. Its been a long time since hes had action. Hes rusty, but hes a young, good athlete, who I think will get the rust off pretty quickly. Havent really decided how Im going to play him on Sunday, how much.Ward, the 30th overall draft pick out of Northern Illinois, finished with 20 tackles and two passes defenced in eight games.The 49ers have until Monday, at the conclusion of a 21-day evaluation window, to decide whether to activate nose tackle Glenn Dorsey or keep him on IR. He returned to practice Oct. 27 after recovering from a torn left biceps muscle that required surgery.And 2013 starting nose tackle Ian Williams, who was sidelined last year following a Week 2 ankle injury against Seattle, was in a walking boot and using crutches this week for a fractured fibula in his left leg.___AP NFL websites: and Wholesale Spain Jerseys Cheap Juventus Jersey Cheap Cristiano Ronaldo Jersey Wholesale AC Milan Jerseys Cheap Arsenal Jerseys Cheap A.S. 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