Kevin Durant has been playing for the Golden State Warriors for nearly three seasons now, but the superstar forward is planning on returning to Oklahoma City to honor an old friend. Retired big man Nick Collison is set to have his jersey retired on March 20, and Durant is planning to attend.
The two-time NBA champion has stated that he’d like to put the bad blood between him and the franchise and the city of Oklahoma in the rearview mirror, and the Thunder are reportedly happy to accommodate him, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
“That group was so special, that whole group from 2010 until I left there, it was special,” Durant told ESPN. “It’s about time for us to let go of all that extra stuff, and just come together — especially around this time, because it’s Nick.”
The Thunder are aware of Durant’s plans to attend the ceremony and are glad to accommodate him, sources said. Scores of ex-Sonics and Thunder teammates from Collison’s 15-year career are expected into Oklahoma City for the event. Durant has long credited Collison’s leadership in easing his transition into the NBA when Durant arrived as the No. 2 pick in the 2008 draft. He spent a season with Collison in Seattle prior to the franchise relocating, and eight more together in OKC.
Collison played his entire 14-year career with the franchise between the Seattle Supersonics and Thunder, averaging 5.9 points and 5.2 rebounds over 910 career games. He played a crucial role off the Thunder’s bench in the early 2010s and continued to provide a veteran presence for the team once his services on the court were no longer needed.
Durant, of course, spent his rookie season with Collison in Seattle and spent his eight years as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder with him as well.
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