In this profession, wisdom and advice is something shared frequently between players. Specifically from vets to “young fellas”. I’ve been blessed enough to be able to learn from Mr. Thunder himself. Just to give you an idea of Nick’s veteran status…when he was drafted I was living it up at Paris Gibson Middle School, unaware and ignorant to the life that was quickly approaching. Now, it’s rare enough for a player to have a career spanning 14 seasons let alone to be with one team throughout that time. I think a lot of people see him and really do respect the body of work he has made, being the consistent piece to this organization, relentlessly and consistently providing a service dedicated only to winning. Shunning accolades, fame, and stardom. I’ve learned a lot from Nick and I can guarantee you can ask anyone on the team, past or present and they would echo that sentiment. Everyone is familiar with the standard definition of “professional”, but in the NBA the term takes on a different meaning. A “pro” is someone who shows up every day and regardless of circumstance and does all that is required of them, without fail. The league is an unforgiving place, and outside of a select few players with otherworldly talent and ability, someone without that professional approach will find themselves looking for a job. This league has seen countless incredibly talented players come and go, replaced by players that, in terms of ability, fall short in comparison. However, you can ask any GM or head coach, this asset is what sets them apart and allows them to stick. Nick is one of those guys. Now, I don’t want to speak for Nick but I can say with a lot of confidence that Nick would agree that he is less talented than many players that have come through the league. But what sets him apart is his approach, which is what I’ve learned more from him than anything else. I respect the hell out of this guy. Every day I can promise you that Nick Collison will be the same person he was the day before and will continue to be just that. His blood, sweat and tears has helped build this organization. Anyone who watches Thunder basketball frequently can attest to the fact that it is not surprising to go 10 games or more without Nick making an appearance. Even though that is the case, whenever his time does come there’s no question that he’ll be ready. I think a lot of people don’t understand just how hard that is. To sit day in and day out, never sure of when you are going to have your number called. That’s what ties me to Nick I guess. A vast majority of games you’ll find us on that bench…unsure whether or not tonight is the night. And every single night I just try to emulate what I’ve learned from him. I doubt Nick even knows just how much he’s taught me… I just hope that I can one day pass on the same knowledge to someone else.