Veteran forward Nick Collison was never a star throughout his 15-year career but did accomplish the rare feat of spending his entire NBA career with one franchise – spending time in Seattle as a Sonic before the team relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008. However, after being a fan-favorite for Sonics/Thunder diehards over the years, the former Jayhawk has decided to hang ’em up following the Thunder’s playoff defeat to the Utah Jazz, he told ESPN:
“I started in cold gyms in small towns in Iowa and ended up playing in more than 1,000 games over 15 years in the best league in the world. I’ve had an incredible run. I’m proud of my career.
“But it’s time to go. I’m retiring from competitive basketball.”
“My goal was always to make a career out of basketball, and I was blessed to be in the NBA for 15 seasons,” Collison said in a statement. “As my time as a basketball player comes to an end, I’m so grateful for my family, friends, teammates, coaches, fans, my hometown, Kansas University, the Thunder organization and everyone else who has helped me along the way. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. It has been an incredible journey that I’m proud of, and it would not have been possible to do it on my own.”
Collison was the last remaining current Thunder player who also spent time with the SuperSonics, and was one of just three active players who spent time in Seattle, along with Golden State Warriors’ star Kevin Durant and Cleveland Cavaliers’ forward Jeff Green.
The 37-year-old will end his professional career with averages of 5.9 points per game and 5.2 rebounds per game over 1,001 contests, including regular season and playoffs.