Collins' temporary road number, before switching to #98. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
No surprise that many people want to buy a Jason Collins jersey, both to celebrate the player's bravery and for what it symbolizes, a point underscored by his wearing "98" in honor of Matthew Sheppard, a gay college student murdered in a brutal hate crime in 1998. Now via the New York Times comes the news that, even though the Nets don't sell jerseys for players on 10-day contracts, the demand for Collins apparel has been "unprecedented":
Vicky Picca, the N.B.A.’s senior vice president for licensing and business affairs, used the word “unprecedented” Monday to describe the inquiries from people interested in buying something with Collins’s name on it. On Tuesday, they can start making purchases, including T-shirts with Collins’s name that will be available only online.
Fans will not yet be able to buy Collins apparel at the Nets Shop by Adidas, the official team store in Barclays Center. Barry Baum, the Nets’ executive vice president and chief communications officer, said that historically, player-specific merchandise was not made available when a player was on a 10-day contract. Baum added that if, and when, a player became signed for the entire season — which could easily happen in Collins’s case — his merchandise would go on sale at the team store and on the team’s website.
If Collins does end up signing on with the Nets past his 10-day contract, his jersey will probably then be available as one of the team's Brooklyn Dodgers' alternates, if, y'know, you aren't into subtlety.
[New York Times]