On Thursday afternoon, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the rest of the NBA saw a distinguished veteran retire after a solid 14-year career. Forward Nick Collison announced via a piece by ESPN’s Royce Young that he was retiring, which means that one more piece of NBA history is now gone.
You may be wondering what exactly is meant by “NBA history” since Nick Collison is noted for setting any milestones. And you would be right; he hasn’t. However, with his retirement, that leaves only two active players who have, at one point, suited up for the old Seattle SuperSonics.
The Sonics moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder for the 2008-09 season, the season after both Kevin Durant (second overall pick) and Jeff Green (fifth overall pick) were drafted. Durant has moved on to play with the Golden State Warriors, even winning a championship in 2017. Green bounced around the league from the Celtics to the Magic, but has found a home with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are set to begin their Eastern Conference Finals this weekend.
Collison finished his career averaging just 5.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game on 53.4 percent shooting, but he’s also the longest-tenured player in Supersonics/Thunder history at 14 seasons and 910 games.
It’ll likely be a few more years before Durant or Green retire, but this just goes to show how quickly time has passed since the Sonics last existed.
Durant sure gave Seattle a fun final season, however, averaging 20.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.0 steals , and 0.9 blocks per game as a rookie. Green was solid as well, averaging 10.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in his rookie season.