He's the first openly gay player in NBA history, but don't expect to see Jason Collins in the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame unless he buys a ticket like everyone else ... so says Kenny Smith.
Collins played 13 seasons in the league -- and was pretty good -- but the fact that he was a pioneer in the world of professional sports won't help him get his picture on the wall in Springfield.
"Your play gets you in [the Hall of Fame], not your sexual preference" ... the "Inside the NBA" star told us.
But Collins has ALREADY been enshrined in another H.O.F. -- the National Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in Chicago ... where he was part of the inaugural class along with Billy Jean King and Greg Louganis.