Thunder forward Nick Collison is the only player in the NBA to have played alongside Kevin Durant his entire career.
That kind of experience gives Collison unique perspective on Durant's rise from, from reserved 19-year-old rookie with the 20-62 Seattle SuperSonics in 2007-08 to Thunder leader and first-time MVP this season. Collison wrote a piece for SI.com that talks about Durant as the ultimate teammate and worker.
You can read the entire column here. Some samples:
From Collison: What stuck out to me was that he just really wanted to be a basketball player. Some guys come into the league and have these ideas about what they want to do off the court -- to be businessmen and all that. Kevin was all about basketball. He was most comfortable in the gym. He just loved to play ball.
Collison goes on to say that he's developed his cult following because of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. "Their success raises all of us," he says.
But what Collison says he'll remember most about Durant isn't the talent or the plays he's made, but the way Durant has treated people.
"I've got a ton of respect for Kevin Durant," Collison said. "It's really been an honor to play with him."