Nick Collison isn’t done playing. At least, that’s what he says. “I plan to play [next year] for sure,” Collison said. “I wasn’t sure going into the season how I would feel at the end of the year, but I still enjoy playing, and I enjoy being around the group. I enjoy being on the team, and I still think I have something to offer.”
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Now is his chance. And considering he wants to keep playing, considering the directions both Collison and the Thunder are heading, a return to Oklahoma City is no guarantee. “I’ve been treated great here, and I’ve had great experiences here, and it’s been the best basketball years of my life for sure playing here,” Collison said. “Hopefully it’ll work out, but that’s the way it goes. There’s no answers today.”
Yet, the Thunder didn’t give him much playing time this season. And that’s something which could lead to an amicable breakup this summer. “This will be the second season I’m not 100 percent sure what’s going to happen next,” Collison said. “I was going to play for the Iowa Falls Cadets and then play for the [Kansas] Jayhawks, and then the one year I didn’t know was the draft, and then I’ve had all extensions.”
“It’s a little different,” Collison said. “I think about it, but I’ve got really good relationships with all the people here… I think both sides just have to find the best thing, and we’ll figure it out.”
Veteran forward Nick Collison said Wednesday he plans to continue his playing career. “I wasn’t sure going into the season how I would feel at the end of the year, but I still enjoy playing, and I enjoy being around the group,” Collison said. “I enjoy being on the team, and I still think I have something to offer.”
Collison said this was just the second time since he was in junior high that he’s entered an offseason unsure about where he would play the next season, though he would like to return to the Thunder. “I think it’ll be honest and fair,” Collison said of contract talks with Oklahoma City. “It’s been more just me thinking about it at this point. There hasn’t been a lot of dialogue.”
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May 26, 2017 | 10:03 am EDT Update
Suns sources continue to deny that there is a lot of interest in moving Bledsoe, but eventually, the team has to embrace their youth, which is why so many opposing teams believe Bledsoe can be had.
As much as fans in Philadelphia want the former third overall pick Jahlil Okafor moved, there is talk that the 76ers are not as eager to dump him. But there is a sense the 76ers would move Okafor in trade. The question is what does he return?
The Nuggets have all kinds of options, but there is a sense in NBA circles that the right offer for Barton would get real consideration, especially considering the Nuggets have so much depth to manage as things stand, swapping out Barton, drafting a new young guy and getting value in the moves might be smarter in the long run.
“I’m just at peace with myself; I’m at peace with myself as a basketball player, most importantly,” Durant told USA TODAY Sports recently. “I think this move, and the criticism that comes with this move, has made me zero in on what’s the most important thing, and that’s just playing basketball, working out every day, getting better, enjoying every single day as a basketball player. It made me really appreciate that. It made me go back to that. When you listen to the nonsense, then you start to really let it take control of your thoughts, that’s (not good), you know what I’m saying? So I just got back to the game.”
It certainly helps that Durant, who used to routinely respond to fan criticism on Twitter, has taken the minimalist approach to social media. He deleted his Instagram page and checks his Twitter mentions no more than once a month. YouTube has become his favorite platform. Durant has his own channel that offers a look at his life on the court and even inside his home. Like so many elite athletes today, he loves having creative control. But as Durant learned the hard way early on, he has no jurisdiction inside the road arenas where the noise and negativity knows no bounds.
How would you describe what this season has meant to you? KD: It was definitely a different year. I mean, I never felt under a microscope this much. I never felt … how can I put it? I never felt this many people just waiting on me to [mess] up. Whether it’s on the court, off the court, waiting on something. But it’s fun, because it’s been cool proving a lot of people wrong, individually. I mean, obviously, we have a long way to go as a team. But I just feel like I’m still the same the person. I work extremely hard. I know a lot of people say I cheated my way … or I skipped steps, or cheated the game. I work hard, bro. I work hard. I really take my craft seriously. If I didn’t do that then I would understand. But I love the game, I love playing for my teammates.
And lastly, what would a ring mean for you? KD: It wouldn’t mean my life was complete. I’ve got a lot of life I want to lead and I’ve got a lot of [expletive] I want to achieve. So if I win a ring, it would be fun to experience that moment when the buzzer sounds and embracing my teammates in the locker room and all that stuff that comes with it, but after that, what’s next? That’s how I look at it. What’s next for me? But it’s that high. It’s that two-, three-week high, I can tell.