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Collins wore No. 98 with both the Boston Celtics and the Washington Wizards even before coming out last spring. The jersey has been a big seller on NBAStore.com, something Collins said honored Shepard and the Trevor Project, which was established in 1998 and aims to prevent suicide among LGBT youth.

The jersey wasn’t ready for his first game with the Nets - he wore a spare with his name hastily added for the contest against the Lakers on Sunday - but he wore No. 98 against the Blazers on Wednesday night and against the Nuggets on Thursday night.

Collins said slipping on that jersey with the significance no longer a closely held secret meant a lot to him.

“Obviously, it started off my friends and family knew why I chose that number and it’s just cool to see that so many people support it as evidenced by so many people buying the jersey,” he said.

Collins was a free agent when he announced at the end of last season that he is gay and the 35-year-old center remained unsigned until the Nets needed another big man.

He said he’s been given no indication from the team whether he’ll get another 10-day deal, but wants to stay with the Nets the rest of the season: “Oh yeah, definitely. This is a great group of guys.”

Collins played 10 scoreless minutes in a win over the Lakers, then quietly played seven minutes after Nets coach Jason Kidd pulled his starters in the fourth quarter of a 44-point blowout loss at Portland on Wednesday night.

Collins bristled when a reporter asked him before Thursday night’s game if he could prove himself with such little court time over a 10-day deal.

“I don’t think as a 12-year vet, going on my 13th year now, that I have much more to prove as far as I know I can help the team win,” Collins said.

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Follow AP Sports Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton