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Jason Collins, Brooklyn Nets Agree to Deal: Source

<p>Veteran would become the first openly gay athlete to play in a major American pro sports league.</p>
Image: Jason Collins
In this photo provided by the United Nations, former NBA player Jason Collins addresses the media during a news conference at United Nations headquarters, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. Collins and former tennis great Martina Navratilova appeared at the U.N. to urge world sports bodies like the International Olympic Committee and FIFA to do more to support gay athletes during a special event celebrating International Human Rights Day. (AP photo/The United Nations, Eskinder Debebe) Eskinder Debebe / AP, file

A high-ranking NBA source confirms to NBC News that the Brooklyn Nets have reached an agreement to sign Jason Collins, setting the stage for Collins to become the first openly gay athlete to play in a major American pro sports league.

Collins is expected to be in uniform Sunday evening when the Nets play the Lakers in Collins' hometown of Los Angeles.

The source tells NBC News that Jason Kidd, the Nets head coach and a former teammate of Collins, pushed the idea, and that the Nets' owner Mikhail Prokhorov approved the move.

Prokhorov, who ran against Vladimir Putin in the 2012 Russian presidential elections, has been an outspoken opponent of Russia's "gay propaganda laws," calling them "a breach of the international conventions of human rights and freedoms we have signed" and "an infringement on personal freedom."

Collins worked out privately for the Nets in Los Angeles during the NBA all-star break last weekend. Team officials said after the workout that Collins was "in good shape" but gave no indication that they would sign him.

The Nets had hoped to sign Glen Davis to a free-agent contract, but Davis told the Nets earlier today that he was signing with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Collins has played 12 seasons in the NBA, including the first seven with the Nets when they were based in New Jersey. The 35-year-old center played in 38 games for Boston and Washington in 2012-13.

He came out as gay in an interview with Sports Illustrated in April of last year.

Collins will be on a 10-day contract, which will pay him around $50,000. At the end of the 10 days, the Nets can re-new Collins' contract for another 10 days before having to decide whether to sign him for the rest of the season.

Collins twin brother, Jarron, teased the historic signing on Twitter: