Sports

Jason Collins, NBA's first openly gay player, announces his retirement

  • FILE - In this April 16, 2014, file photo, Brooklyn Nets' Jason Collins shoots against the Cleveland Cavaliers during an NBA basketball game  in Cleveland. Collins, the NBA's first openly gay player, announced his retirement on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

    FILE - In this April 16, 2014, file photo, Brooklyn Nets' Jason Collins shoots against the Cleveland Cavaliers during an NBA basketball game in Cleveland. Collins, the NBA's first openly gay player, announced his retirement on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this March 3, 2014, file photo, Brooklyn Nets Jason Collins speaks during a news conference before an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls at the Barclays Center in New York. Collins, the NBA's first openly gay player, announced his retirement on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

    FILE - In this March 3, 2014, file photo,¬†Brooklyn Nets Jason Collins speaks during a news conference before an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls at the Barclays Center in New York. Collins, the NBA's first openly gay player, announced his retirement on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Feb. 27, 2014, file photo, Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins acknowledges the cheers from his teammates after Collins hit a basket against the Denver Nuggets late in the fourth quarter of the Nets' 112-89 victory in an NBA basketball game in Denver. Collins, the NBA's first openly gay player, announced his retirement on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

    FILE - In this Feb. 27, 2014, file photo, Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins acknowledges the cheers from his teammates after Collins hit a basket against the Denver Nuggets late in the fourth quarter of the Nets' 112-89 victory in an NBA basketball game in Denver. Collins, the NBA's first openly gay player, announced his retirement on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)  (The Associated Press)

Jason Collins, the NBA's first openly gay player, announced his retirement on Wednesday.

The 35-year-old Collins played 22 games with the Brooklyn Nets last season and was not on the roster this season.

He announced his retirement in a first-person story for Sports Illustrated, saying it has been "been 18 exhilarating months" since he came out as the first openly gay man in one of the four major North American professional leagues.

He started his career with the New Jersey Nets in 2001 and rejoined the franchise in Brooklyn in February. He had a number of former teammates on the Brooklyn team, including former coach Jason Kidd.

Collins thanked Kidd for his support, "considering all the speculation about problems I might face within the locker room." Collins says he's "happy to have helped put those canards to rest."