Carter proud of former teammate Collins

NEW YORK -- Jason Collins became the first active openly gay NBA player Sunday night, and Vince Carter was certainly proud of his former teammate.

Carter and Collins played together on the New Jersey Nets from 2004 to 2008.

“I’m happy he’s back in the league,” Carter said Monday. “He’s a guy that plays extremely hard, sets hard screens. He knows the game very well.”

Still, Carter looks forward to the day when this isn’t a big deal anymore and players are no longer asked about it.

“It’s new. It’s the hot topic, so it’s gonna be asked about. But once the season’s over and it’s not his first time in every city, it’ll be over with,” Carter said. “I understand why (it’s a big deal). But at the same time, it was said, it’s done with, he’s played his game. We understand he’s the first openly gay player and all that. I think it’s time to move on.”

Carter thinks Collins is in the perfect situation in Brooklyn.

“He played with (now Nets coach) Jason (Kidd), but he also played with Paul (Pierce) and KG (Kevin Garnett) in Boston,” Carter said. “I think it all worked out well for him. I mean, what better place than the place that you spent most of your career? Clearly, he was comfortable and he made it work here all that time, so I think this is the best place for him.”