In every relationship there needs to be consistency. In order for a relationship to flourish someone has to be intentionally consistent. Now, consistency isn’t the most flashy thing to look for and may not be one of the first traits you think of when describing your dream significant other, but without it a relationship falls apart. It’s the straw that stirs the drink. In basketball, consistency within a franchise or a player is not always the biggest attention getter. While important, it won’t garner many headlines. Nick Collison is the embodiment of consistency. Putting himself on the grinder day after day knowing he won’t be getting any love on the next edition of SportsCenter. Nick Collison went to war with OKC on his chest every year since the team got here. We never heard a complaint or a grumble, all we heard was the refs whistle as he drew yet another charge. He was the ultimate fan favorite who battled with Dirk, Zach Randolph, Pau Gasol and so many others while stepping up and taking on the dirty work each and every night. Nick Collison became Mr. Thunder and the consistency he brought is gone.
It’s been a few months since “The Old Man” announced his retirement and the thought of an OKC roster without him still feels unholy. “The Old Man” is a term of endearment given to Commanding Officer William Adama by his crew in the popular show Battlestar Galactica. In the twilight of Collison’s career my father and I attributed this affectionate nickname onto one Nick Collison. The commanding officer of this team is gone now so to speak and the man who led with a cool confidence is no longer our face of consistency. It will be impossible to gaze onto the Thunder bench next season and not feel a little empty at times knowing Mr. Thunder is no longer sitting there with his hair given to him by the basketball gods. When you feel this way just remember that while he is no longer physically on the court taking a charge or making a backdoor pass look sexy, his presence on the court is manifested by Russell Westbrook who called Nick Collison a mentor. He is seen in Steven Adams as well and every single one of his former teammates. Can we pause for a minute and remember how hilarious Collison was in those Stache Bros videos campaigning for a Russ MVP? Nick had a way of influencing every teammate he had with one thing he did better than everyone else. He was consistent.
OKC felt a strong connection with Nick from the beginning. Perhaps it was the way we felt drawn to a true unsung hero. Oklahomans feel underappreciated on a national scale all the time. His perfect hair played a major part of course as it sat upon his head with impunity. Nick Collison made looking completely ordinary a cool thing, but most of all OKC fans appreciated his consistency. It was a trait he passed down to every teammate he played with. It was something this franchise will embody even now that he is gone because Nick Collison left a legacy and he will always be remembered as Mr. Thunder.