Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Cause Of Nick Collison's Reduced Output

In 81 games this season, Nick Collison had per game averages of 4.2 for points, 3.6 for rebounds, 1.3 for assists, and 16.7 for minutes. What do these 4 per game averages have in common?

Answer: All 4 are career lows for Nick Collison, who has played for the franchise throughout his entire 10-year career.

Yes, it’s true. Collison has been with the Thunder for so long, he actually spent his first 4 NBA seasons calling Seattle’s KeyArena home. (Honest question: Why do some cities feel the need to turn the name of their sports arenas into one giant word? FedExForum in Memphis is a perfect example of this.) And while spending 10 seasons with one team isn’t necessarily an indicator of “superstar” status, it usually is a very solid indicator of a very solid player.

The thing about Collison is that his contributions to the team go beyond the stat sheet. Seeing as he is one of the most experienced players on the squad, I’m sure he acts as a mentor to the new players coming in. And when it comes to his defense, the man is simply a persistent pest to opposing players.

Once you take the experience into account, you can almost begin to figure out why his output on the court is beginning to decrease, as are his minutes. The man will be 34 years of age by next season’s opening tip. His age was almost certainly a contributing factor to the announcement the Thunder made yesterday morning, and said announcement was almost certainly the reason for his reduction in minutes.

Nick Collison underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, and according to the professionals who performed the procedure, it was 100% successful.

It has yet to be made public what prompted the surgery, but regardless of the cause, Collison is going to have to take it easy for the next 4 to 6 weeks as it heals, but once healing is complete, he should be able to resume normal offseason activities.

But don’t think Collison will be looking to use the injury as an excuse. He’s fully aware that time is a luxury that will no longer benefit his career. Once you’re on the wrong side of 30 in the NBA, time becomes the enemy. And the problem with time being an enemy, is it’s an enemy no one has any hope of conquering. Time is not only the one thing all of the money in the world can’t buy, but time is also the one commodity that once lost, can never be recovered.

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