Jason Collins’ Jersey Is a Hit On NBA.com

The number 98 on the shirt of the league's first openly gay player has poignant significance

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USA Today Sports / Reuters

Brooklyn Nets newly signed player Jason Collins practices before playing against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center.

NBA fans flocked to the association’s online store on Tuesday to buy Jason Collins’s Brooklyn Nets jersey, making the uniform the day’s top seller, according to the New York Daily News.

“Historically we don’t make player-specific merchandise available for players on 10-day contracts,” Barclays Center spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News. “Once a player is signed for the entire season, we would make his merchandise available.”

Collins, who is the first openly gay player to compete in the league, said he chose the no. 98 for his jersey to honor the memory of Matthew Shepard, who was brutally murdered during a hate-crime in 1998.

Earlier this week, the seven foot center signed a 10-day contract with the Nets and debuted with the squad as they played against the Los Angeles Lakers in California on Sunday. Collin’s was reportedly greeted with a standing ovation when he first stepped on the court this weekend.

[NY Daily News]