NBA.com – The Oklahoma City Thunder announced today that the team will retire Nick Collison’s No. 4 on Wednesday, March 20 when the Thunder hosts the Toronto Raptors at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Six points, five rebounds, one block. If you use round numbers, those are Nick Collison’s career averages. And on the back of that historic, never before seen stat-line, the Thunder are going to retire his number.
In terms of publicity stunts and good will gestures, this has to be one of the more absurd things I’ve heard of a franchise doing. I mean, this is technically the same franchise that Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp played for. But Nick Collison’s number is going to hang from the rafters? Oooook.
And I get he played that he played his whole, fifteen year career there. I get he probably did stuff like “gave back to the community” and was most likely “a consummate pro”. But do you see the Celtics retiring Leon Powe’s jersey? No you do not. And no Powe did not play for the Celtics for 15 years but he arguably contributed more to, ya know, their actual success than Collison did for the Thunder.
The only reason this is blogable is because of the question of “where is the bar?” Much like the Colts putting up a banner every time they win a game outside of the calendar year that the season began in, are NBA teams just going to start retiring number for no discernible reason? It kind of takes the wind out of the sales of these kinds of things when it is done for players who, ya know, actually deserve it.
Last thing, you know when this news went out, this conversation was had:
Brian Scalabrine: Hey you think maybe…
Mike Gorman: No.
Sounds like the Thunder need a “Walter Payton” type award that they can give out.
haha if the guy was such a consummate pro that he gets his number retired then good for him, but I feel like there should be some lofty standards for number retirement.
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Sure, in a sporting context number retirement is reserved for statistic dominance. That’s why a character award would be nice to have and give out.