We knew this day was coming. Nick Collison has officially announced his retirement from the the Thunder and the NBA.
“I got to stay here a long time, but now it’s time to go.” Collison said via ESPN.
A staple within the Oklahoma City organization throughout his time here. Collison is one of two players who have spent their entire careers with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He was given the nickname “Mr. Thunder.”
Sometimes, in the early phases of an organization’s life cycle, the right player comes around at the right time to help define their vision,” Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager, Sam Presti said.
Collison, 37, a hard nosed worker who never complained about playing time or the transition of the team as players came and went. He was the epitome of those who lived in this great state.
Collison retires after 14 seasons, playing for six different head coaches and two different teams but really one franchise. In 910 games, Collison averaged 5.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. He’ll go down in the top 10 lists throughout the franchise: third in games played; ninth in minutes played; third in offensive rebounds; sixth in defensive rebounds; fourth in total rebounds; second in personal fouls; sixth in blocks and fifth in field goal shooting.
He’ll go down playing with tons of Hall of Famers from Ray Allen to Russell Westbrook. He’s played in 54 playoff games. He’s bled his literal blood all over the court. He’s a large reason why players like Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison helped develop into the studs they are today.
While Collison only appeared in a handful of games over the last two seasons, his presence was felt through the vibrations he sent from the bench.
There’s really two faces who will go on the Oklahoma City Mount Rushmore. Russell Westbrook and Nick Collison. While Westbrook’s is more of on court accolades, what Collison did off the court goes beyond numbers. For that, all of Oklahoma City is thankful for having the pure luck and ability to see this man give it 100 percent for 10 years.
“I won’t get to feel that fire or that rush anymore, but I do get to keep the memories, the stories and the relationships. That’s what I will cherish the most.” Collison said. “Things worked out for me.”
The fanbase will cherish Collison as much as he cherished his time in the NBA. Many feel he deserves the No. 4 to hang from the rafters.
For now, go enjoy retirement, Mr. Thunder.
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