Give the players time to adjust

by Berry Tramel Published: September 30, 2008
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Nick Collison left behind friends. Friends and familiarity. Favorite restaurants, a neighborhood he liked and a city he called home.

Don't blame Collison for missing Seattle. Don't blame any Thunder ballplayer who might forget to say all the right things about moving to Oklahoma City.

We met the new guys Monday. The tall fellows who will run and rebound, dunk and defend, and even occasionally win a game.

Seemed a classy bunch. I think you're going to like them. I think they're going to like you. But cut them some slack while they make the adjustment.

"I call it bittersweet,” point guard Earl Watson said of the move. "You become a part of the community. You develop friends.”

Watson spent four seasons in Seattle. He's a basketball junkie. Knows the hoops heritage he left behind. Even rattled off the names that once made the SuperSonics an NBA institution. Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, George Karl, Slick Watts, Downtown Freddy Brown.

Any person who ever had to move with little say in the manner — be it as kid or adult — should empathize with the Thunder.

"Personally, it's an adjustment, leaving a place I loved to be,” Collison said. "You just have to start over.

"It's kind of part of your job. When we come to the NBA, we don't have a lot of say in where we're going to be.”

But let's be honest.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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