Nick Collison exit interview: the man, the myth, the OKC legend

Nick Collison, OKC Thunder (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nick Collison, OKC Thunder (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images) /

In one of the more sentimental exit interviews Nick Collison took to the podium for what may be his last as OKC Thunder player.

Right out of the gate Nick Collison was asked about whether he was retiring. Unlike Carmelo Anthony he recognized arriving at 5AM at the airport and immediately coming to do exit interviews isn’t the right time to make snap decisions.

Collison will take some time to reflect and talk to his family prior to making his final decision.

On the season, Collison also pointed to the lack of consistency noting how difficult that was to navigate. The big man enjoyed his year once again, albeit with few appearances on the floor which he reveled in.

Collison cited Steven Adams as one of his favorite players of all time and said when it’s all said and done he knows in reflection Adams will be someone he notes as one of the best players ever.

Asked what factors will determine his retirement decision Collison said implied it’s a double edged sword. On one hand you are a part of a small fraternity of 450 players. Yet on the other hand being with the team keeps him away from his family and child. He wants to figure out the right life balance and that will help him figure out his next move.

It was noted Collison played a big role in trying to retain Durant. The reporter cited him as well respected and a sort of ambassador for the team. As for his thoughts on Paul George, he offered himself up as a voice of reason if George is interested in hearing his truthful thoughts.

More from Thunderous Intentions

Thoughts on narratives surrounding Russell Westbrook and how players improving when they leave OKC and RW specifically.

Its well known Collison is close to Westbrook so expecting anything less than support would be slly.

"Russell has been great to play with. When he got here, we were a bad basketball team. And we got better — and we’ve become a really good team for a really long time. And he’s (Westbrook) got a huge part – you know he has a lot to do that, as much as anybody does.  I love playing with him.  He’s an all-time great to me. I don’t care what anybody else says. I think he’s been huge for this city, this organization and all the guys who play with him, like myself."

The mellow Melo effect:

Queried on something touched on earlier a pundit asked Collison about the relationship between Carmelo and Russell. Nick confirmed that Melo had the knack to be able to talk to Westbrook when he was frustrated and dial him back to the task at hand. Collison cited Anthony’s years of experience as a factor and his demeanor. So, if Anthony does end up returning perhaps being the ‘Russ Whisperer’ will be among some of his benefits he can bring to the team.


Asked if he thought when he entered the NBA if he envisioned still being a player at this stage Collison was as affable as ever. He said at 37 and with some grey hair spouting he never foresaw this stage. He wanted to make it his career and contribute, but certainly never saw this.

"“I’ve been really blessed, I had a lot of good people around me. I’ve worked hard at it too, and things have gone my way. I’m very thankful for the career I’ve had.”"

These closing thoughts sure sound like Mr. Thunder is ready to hang up the sneakers. He’s been the gentleman on the squad for years. The touchstone to more than one player and if in fact he does say goodbye, I wish him God speed and good fortune in whatever he elects to do next.

It’s been Thunder fans pleasure to be associated with a player of Nick Collison’s ilk and he’ll go down in history as one of the most beloved players to ever wear the OKC Thunder jersey.