Don’t pick on Nick

Thunder power forward Nick Collison drew some message-board flak for daring to suggest that moving to Oklahoma City wasn’t the greatest thing since sliced bread.

More precisely, what he said was this:

Collison said he had mixed emotions about his Seattle SuperSonics moving to Oklahoma City. In his five years in Seattle, Collison has grown fond of the great Pacific Northwest.

“I love Seattle. We’ll continue to live there in the offseason,” said the 6-foot-10, 255-pound former KU power forward.

Which is perfectly fine. I’ve never been to Seattle, but I understand it has its charms, and besides Collison has a wife and a daughter whom he’s unwilling to uproot for the sake of the NBA. Sounds to me like he has his priorities in order. What’s more, as anyone who’s done it will admit without much arm-twisting, moving sucks: however wonderful your destination, the journey is a genuine pain in the drain.

Back from vacation, Oklahoman NBA guy Darnell Mayberry had to tackle this one, and he sees it similarly:

I’ve received, seen and heard some negative and borderline harsh comments about Collison here and elsewhere, and I think it’s unwarranted.

Expressing strong feelings about one city is not the same as degrading another city. In no way did Collison degrade or belittle Oklahoma or its residents. In fact, he spoke highly of Thunder fans who sold out the team’s allotment of season tickets in less than a week and said he was excited to play here.

It’s understandable that he feels strongly about Seattle. He’s lived there, apparently year round, since being drafted by the Sonics franchise in 2003. That became his home, not just a city he played in and ditched in the offseason like most NBA players do.

Simple as that.

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