Thunder notes: Nick Collison donates to Special Care; Team arrives late

BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Modified: January 19, 2011 at 11:19 pm •  Published: January 19, 2011
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Collison donates $40,000 to Special Care

Thunder forward Nick Collison has donated $40,000 to Special Care, a local facility that offers education, therapy and other programs for children. Weather permitting, Collison is scheduled to visit Special Care on Thursday afternoon to present his donation.

Collison and teammate Morris Peterson visited Special Care on Oct. 22 as part of the Thunder Cares program and spent time with staff and children. From that visit, Collision said he knew it was a cause he wanted to support.

LATE ARRIVAL

Due to a combination of heavy snow and rush-hour traffic, the Thunder's first of two team busses arrived 45 minutes behind schedule to Wednesday night's game against Denver inside the Pepsi Center. Guard Thabo Sefolosha was the lone player on the team's second bus and arrived 55 minutes before tipoff.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks said the delayed arrival was no big deal. “Guys do like having a routine, but you get off the bus, you warm up and you play,” Brooks said. “These guys are all young enough. They're not too far removed from high school, where you come to the gym 45 minutes early and you play.”

The weather definitely affected attendance. An estimated 5,000 fans were on hand for the opening tip. The Nuggets entered the contest averaging 16,649 fans per game.

MUTUAL ADMIRATION

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have spoken fondly of being Team USA teammates with Chauncey Billups since winning a gold medal at the FIBA World Championship in Turkey last summer.

The Denver point guard also was impressed with the Thunder tandem.

“He's just a down-to-earth, very humble guy,” Billups said, when asked about Durant. “He's all about the right things. He does it right. He really is that guy. I love both those guys, man. Russ is a super, super talent. (He's) really another great kid, another regular kid. If you didn't know who he was, you wouldn't know who he is. He'd fit in anywhere. I love that kid, man. I love his family. They both have great families. They're good people.”

Box score: Thunder vs. Nuggets


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