Last night the longest tenured player of the Seattle/Oklahoma City National Basketball Association franchise probably played his last regular season game. His eight minutes of highly competitive play against the Denver Nuggets in the Chesapeake Energy Arena signaled the end of his thirteenth regular season as a Sonic/Thunder for the former Kansas University All-American. A native of Iowa where he played for his high school coaching father, Collison went on to be the National Player-of-the Year for the Jayhawks i Lawrence, was drafted by the Seattle Sonics and moved to Oklahoma City to play for the Thunder for the past nine years. One of only a handful of NBA players in the past fifteen years that stuck with the same franchise for his career, Collison has not made is final decision on his future in basketball. Sources say he will end his career in the game an retire to his off-season home in Seattle where his family lives year round. Collison has been an effective post player in his time in the Association, highlighted with a “Finals” appearance in 2012 when the Thunder lost to the Miami Heat in five games.
It is conceivable seeing Collison, 36, living out his life never having anything to do with work (basketball) again. Caring for his family and being a great father as he grows into his middle years might be enough. If he did come back into the NBA, one might think it would be when and if Seattle gets a team in the Association, as it probably will in the future. Collison’s love of the Thunder and his organization, the fans of the team on Reno Street, and his total dedication to his craft, Collison’s number should be retired by OKC, being on the first squad wearing the blue. Collison is as loved in OKC as any have been, including Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. Nick Collison is Mr. Thunder in his value to the “Thunder Way”.
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