I figured I should try and provide a little clarity to my last post about Nick Collison’s comments about leaving Seattle and relocating to Oklahoma. I’ve received, seen and heard some negative and borderline harsh comments about Collison here and elsewhere, and I think it’s unwarranted.
Expressing strong feelings about one city is not the same as degrading another city. In no way did Collison degrade or belittle Oklahoma or its residents. In fact, he spoke highly of Thunder fans who sold out the team’s allotment of season tickets in less than a week and said he was excited to play here.
It’s understandable that he feels strongly about Seattle. He’s lived there, apparently year round, since being drafted by the Sonics franchise in 2003. That became his home, not just a city he played in and ditched in the offseason like most NBA players do. Yes, the Iowa-native and Kansas-educated Collison said it would be an adjustment living in Oklahoma City. But remember, he has lived in Seattle for the past five years, and I would think it would be an adjustment going from Seattle to Oklahoma City. How could it not be? And I’m not just talking about the differences in the cities. That too. But I’m also talking about learning and integrating into a new community, losing all familiarity with one city and learning an entirely new one and, above all, making sure his family is taken care of and comfortable in a foreign place. (Collison is married and has a daughter).
From everything I’ve heard and read about Nick Collison, and even in my limited experiences interviewing him over the past three seasons, he is one of the most professional players not just on the Thunder but in all the NBA. I think fans who read anything into his comments and are harshly criticizing him now will have a change of heart once the season starts and they see his work ethic on the court and his compassion and charity off it.
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