Nick Collison was never the most prolific player, but there aren’t many players in Oklahoma City Thunder history who are more beloved than their longtime big man whose career came to an end at the end of last season. For that reason, the team announced on Saturday evening that “Mr. Thunder” will have his jersey retired a little later this year.
Collison, who spent his entire 14-year NBA career with the Thunder organization (including four years with the Seattle SuperSonics), will see his No. 4 go into the rafters when Oklahoma City hosts the Toronto Raptors on March 20. The team announced the decision to retire Collison’s jersey on its Twitter account, with some help from Weekend Update anchor Colin Jost, who said this was a “long time coming.”
Following a decorated career at Kansas, which has also retired his jersey, Collison was drafted by the Sonics with the 12th pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. He appeared in 910 games for the organization, earning the nickname “Mr. Thunder.”
Collison also makes a bit of history, because while he’s the sixth player to have his jersey number retired in franchise history, he’s the first one to receive this honor as a member of the Thunder.
While guys like Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant will surely join him and receive this honor down the line, it’s fitting that a guy who was as loved by Oklahoma City fans as Collison receives it first.