“Regardless of what Nick maintains, asking Nick to write this column for GQ had nothing to do with the way he dresses,” Whitaker joked. “I suspected Nick would be good at this because he reads a lot and consumes plenty of culture. And after having exchanged emails for years, I knew, maybe most importantly, that he could write. Nick has a great voice, and he's good at pacing and telling a story. He's also has a great eye for a compelling topic.”
The Thunder has had a considerable GQ presence the couple of years. Prominent author Bethlehem Shoals has written multiple times about Thunder players. A dapper Russell Westbrook had his own photo shoot and now Collison's literature graces the pages.
Collison's first three blogs have been about how he spent his extended summer vacation, the daily life in the NBA – then and now – and the art of rookie hazing.
As a writer, Collison is self-effacing, understated, knowledgeable and efficient – much like his work as a player. People are drawn to Collison. His work gets noticed. Respect comes quickly.
“It's kind of fun,” Collison admitted. “It's something a little different. I think fans kind of want to know the behind-the-scenes stuff. I won't be able to tell everything that goes on, but there are certain things I think I could shed a light on.”
Collison said he doesn't seek clearance from teammates as to what he shares publicly. “I just use my judgment,” Collison said.
Nor does Collison seek clearance from tight-lipped Thunder general manager Sam Presti. Collison's intent is not to start any trouble with his writings.
“Some of the stuff we do, Sam said he would like to keep rather private. Competitive advantage, I guess,” Collison said. “I'm definitely the last guy who wants to be controversial doing this, so I'm not going to be doing any of that.”
NEXT FIVE FOR THUNDER
* Tuesday: vs. Utah, 7 p.m. (FSOK) – After having just one home game since Jan. 25, the Thunder returns for six of its next seven at home. Utah, meanwhile, will be on the third leg of a back-to-back-to-back road swing.
* Wednesday: at Houston, 7 p.m. (FSOK) – When OKC played Houston in January, the Rockets were struggling, but they quickly stabilized by winning 10 of their next 12 games. Houston will be coming off six-game road trip.
* Friday: vs. Golden State, 7 p.m. (FSOK) – Third meeting against the Warriors in a span of three weeks, but this time the Thunder gets them at home. Golden State never met a shot it didn't like and is always potentially lethal.
* Sunday: vs. Denver, 7 p.m. (FSOK) – First meeting of the season against Denver, which is the conference's second-best road team behind the Thunder and appears to be even a better team without Kenyon Martin and J.R. Smith.
* Feb. 20: vs. New Orleans, 7 p.m. (FSOK) – Third and final meeting against the depleted Hornets. A must win for OKC, particularly leading into back-to-back home games against the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers.