The Oklahoma City Thunder have announced plans to retire Nick Collison's No.4 jersey following the player's retirement from basketball last year.
The 38-year-old was drafted by the team in 2003, back when they were the Seattle Supersonics, and he spent his entire career with them before calling it quits last May.
Collison's No.4 will be the first number retired by OKC and the seventh in total, with six jerseys getting hoisted to rafters by the Sonics prior to their move ahead of the 2008-09 season.
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A report from NBA.com reads: "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."
“I am thrilled that Nick Collison will be the first Thunder player to have their number retired in Oklahoma City,” Thunder Chairman Clayton I. Bennett said. “He has cemented himself as part of the fabric of this community and our organization by setting an example of commitment, hard work and authenticity. Congratulations Nick.”
Collison appeared in 910 regular season games for OKC, averaging 5.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 20.4 minutes per game. He also featured in 91 postseason fixtures.
Apart from Russell Westbrook, the ex-big man is the only player to have spent all 10 of the first Thunder years with the team.
“Nick Collison's career in Oklahoma City was unique," Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti declared.
"Unique in that he helped create the internal standards for work ethic, selflessness, citizenship and professionalism for an organization that was starting from scratch. Unique in that as a role player, he embedded himself as a legacy player for the Thunder because of his consistency both in times of success and adversity and respect for his teammates and the organization.
“It is fitting that Nick will continue his unique and singular relationship with the organization by being our first retired number.”
What This Means
Despite being a role player for most of his career, Collison is highly regarded by the Thunder organization after giving them 15 years of service.
He helped the team secure the second-best record in the league during his 10 years in Oklahoma, with .608 and 489-319, and ended his career with 69 double-doubles and 184 games in which he scored double figures.
Hardly ever a standout player, the former forward will soon have his place in history as he will become the first player from the Thunder era to have his jersey go up to the roof.