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But those have little 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 Garnett’s 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 he’s not in the game. He has defended Shaquille O’Neal and Tim Duncan in the NBA Finals, so knows what it takes to guard even the biggest stars, even if he’s rarely the one doing it.

“When I was a younger guy, I learned from Dikembe Mutombo and Alonzo Mourning. It’s a cycle,” Collins said. “Now that I’m 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.”


AP Sports Writer Arnie Stapleton in Denver and freelance writer Joe DiGiovanni in Milwaukee contributed to this report.


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