Jason Collins hasn’t even had a chance to wear his No. 98 jersey yet, and it’s already the hottest jersey on the market.
On Tuesday, the NBA decided to make Collins’ jersey available both at their official store in New York and on NBA.com after receiving a flood of inquiries, a league spokesman told ESPN New York’s Mike Mazzeo. That decision proved to be a valuable one as it became the top-selling jersey for the NBA store, as well as its website the very same day.
On Sunday, Collins made his season debut with the Brooklyn Nets, becoming the first openly gay player in league history. After signing a 10-day contract with the team earlier in the day, though, the veteran center sported a No. 46 jersey against the Los Angeles Lakers because Brooklyn was unable to get his regular number ready in time.
Starting Wednesday night against the Portland Trailblazers, Collins will wear No. 98. The 35-year-old wears the number as a tribute to Matthew Shepard, a student at the University of Wyoming who was brutally murdered in a gay hate crime in 1998.