Sport: Oklahoma City Thunder go with unexpected choice for team's first ever retired number - PressFrom - US
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SportOklahoma City Thunder go with unexpected choice for team's first ever retired number

04:40  13 january  2019
04:40  13 january  2019 Source:   sports.yahoo.com

Westbrook rebounds with triple-double as Thunder beat Mavs

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The Oklahoma City Thunder is an American professional basketball team based in Oklahoma City , Oklahoma . The Thunder competes in the National Basketball Association (NBA)

Team Names: Oklahoma City Thunder , Seattle SuperSonics. Go Ad-Free. Oklahoma City Thunder Franchise Index. Year-by-Year Stats.

Oklahoma City Thunder go with unexpected choice for team's first ever retired number© Provided by Oath Inc. Nick Collison’s number is headed for the rafters in Oklahoma City. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Now a full decade into their tenure in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma City Thunder are now getting old enough to have players spend enough time on the team to have their numbers hung up in the Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Thunder announced the first such player on Saturday, and the choice might have raised a few eyebrows.

That player is longtime Thunder/SuperSonics power forward Nick Collison, who spent his entire 14-season career with the franchise until his retirement in 2018.

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View complete individual and team stat leaders for the Oklahoma City Thunder including points, rebounds, assists, and defensive statistics. NBA Teams Atlanta Hawks Boston Celtics Brooklyn Nets Charlotte Hornets Chicago Bulls Cleveland Cavaliers Dallas Mavericks Denver Nuggets Detroit

The first round pitted the Thunder against the eight-seeded Houston Rockets, led by James Harden, a Going into the draft on June 28, 2012, the Thunder retained only their first -round draft pick, their 2012 In addition, Thunder forward Serge Ibaka, a naturalized Spanish citizen, was named to Spain' s Olympic basketball team for 2012, making four Thunder players represented at Retired numbers .

The Thunder announced the news in comical fashion on Twitter with a video featuring Saturday Night Live Weekend Update anchor Colin Jost:

The retirement ceremony for Collison’s No. 4 will take place prior to the Thunder’s game against the Raptors on March 20.

Why the Thunder retired Nick Collison’s number

As far as retired numbers go, this decision is seems like a pretty weird one. No one is going to elect Collison to the Hall of Fame, and probably not the Hall of Very Good either. The big man out of Kansas averaged only 5.9 points per game and 5.2 rebounds per game for his entire career, and never broke double digits in either stat for a single season.

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The 2013–14 Oklahoma City Thunder season is the 6th season of the franchise in Oklahoma City and the 48th in the National Basketball Association (NBA). In the playoffs, the Thunder faced the Memphis Grizzlies, the team that defeated them in five games in last season' s Semifinals

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (left) comments to Golden State Warriors forward Kevin “I don’t think any of us could ever imagine what he was thinking out there and the emotions he was going through in his Oklahoma City and Thunder fans were proud and sticking out their chests.

Of course, Collison’s value never really came from taking over games and filling the stat sheet.

Collison ranks only 20th in franchise history in career points, but he does come in at third in games played and fourth in career rebounds. He also contributed plenty behind the scenes as one of the team’s veteran leader down the road, as alluded to in the Thunder’s press release:

“Nick Collison’s career in Oklahoma City was unique. 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,” said Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. “It is fitting that Nick will continue his unique and singular relationship with the organization by being our first retired number.”

Thunder pursuing backup big man?

Thunder pursuing backup big man? The Thunder, who are currently without center Nerlens Noel, are “actively pursuing” backup big men, Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports hears (Twitter link). As Smith notes, Oklahoma City is averse to taking on much – if any – money due to luxury tax concerns. Currently, the team’s tax bill projects to be easily the highest in the NBA. Still, the Thunder feel they need at least one more big man to their roster for the postseason, Smith adds. Noel has been a solid backup center for the Thunder this season behind Steven Adams, but took a scary fall during Tuesday’s loss to the Timberwolves and was diagnosed with a concussion.

The 2016–17 Oklahoma City Thunder season was the 9th season of the franchise in Oklahoma City and the 51st in the National Basketball Association (NBA). On the April 9, Russell Westbrook broke the record of Oscar Robertson of most triple-doubles in a season with 42.

A team that was a single win away from upsetting the Warriors and making another trip to the finals was on the verge of starting the very next season as Westbrook’ s decision to stick with the only franchise he’ s ever known has, at the very least, postponed that potential future. In doing so, Westbrook could

While Collison was never the type to regularly throw down double-doubles, he made plenty of contributions in hustle stats not seen on the typical box score, like charges drawn, deflections and screen assists. The Thunder have decided such a player deserves the team’s highest honor.

Oklahoma City Thunder’s retired numbers

While Collison is the first player to ever have his number retired in Oklahoma City, he joins a group of six players in the franchises annals that were retired in Seattle.

Those players are:

  • Gus Williams – 1
  • Nate McMillan – 10
  • Lenny Wilkens – 19
  • Spencer Haywood – 24
  • Fred Brown – 32
  • Jack Sikma – 43

Curiously, that group doesn’t include Gary Payton, the franchise’s all-time leading scorer, or Shawn Kemp, who was named to five All-Star teams in Seattle, more than Williams, McMilan Brown and, yes, Collison, combined.

The exclusion of those two players might have something to do with the pair retiring shortly before the franchise’s move to Oklahoma. If Seattle ever gets an expansion team, that will likely be remedied, as well as the new team taking over the Sonics history and retired numbers from the Thunder. Except for Collison.

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Game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Charlotte Hornets played on Fri July 6th 2018. The Hornets beat the Thunder 88 to 87. Rashawn Thomas led the scoring with 23 points, Daniel Hamilton led in assists with 8 assists, and Daniel Hamilton led by grabbing 12 rebounds.

Covers the Oklahoma City Thunder for ESPN.com. OKLAHOMA CITY -- Playing against a Los Angeles Clippers team resting three starters, the Oklahoma City Thunder found themselves in an unexpected "I've seen a lot of guys play and he' s by far the best loose-ball guy I've ever seen

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