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Nick Collison wishes Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden were given more time

Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden

Nick Collison’s recent announcement of his retirement ha spurred a plethora of memories, as one of the few remaining players who have seen the transformation of the Oklahoma City Thunder from the time they were the Seattle SuperSonics.

Among those were the three years in which the generational talents of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden played together — a melting pot of sheer talent, which today stand as some of the five best scoring talents in the league.

In retrospect, the recently-retired veteran expressed his desire to have seen the three flourished under the same system.

“I love KD. I miss him,” said Collison in a heartfelt goodbye letter via ESPN. “I played my best basketball with James. I wish we would have had more time. I feel like a proud big brother watching Russ become both the player and the man that he is. I really appreciate all the battles we’ve been through.”

Only Westbrook remains out of the three, but Collison still remembers the trade that started it all.

“I still remember going to see James at his house the night he was traded. It was a gut punch,” wrote Collison. “We just sat there together in shock, we couldn’t believe it happened. We talked about how it went down, about negotiations and stuff, but we just couldn’t believe it. I mean, we’d just gone to the Finals.”

“There have been a few other gut punches, but I won’t dwell on them here. The eventual 30 for 30 will be really good. It’ll probably have to be a four-part mini-series.”

In an alternate reality, it might have been the Thunder, not the Golden State Warriors imposing a stronghold in the West — but those are visions only Collison could clearly assess as the only cog in the organization seeing them all grow from up-close.