Nick Collison has gone on record as saying that he was disappointed when the Seattle Supersonics were uprooted from their foundation in Seattle and displaced to Oklahoma City last off-season. As a Seattle resident, that makes two of us Nick. For some reason, this now has become a major story, thanks in large part to this ( http://newsok.com/jenni-carlson-nick-collison-loves-adopted-hometown-of-seattle/article/3391892) story published two weeks ago in the Oklahoman regarding Collison’s love affair for his adopted hometown Seattle via messages he posted on his Twitter account. Collison still resides here in Seattle during the off-season, even though he was born and raised in the Midwest.
I’ve seen Collison a few times at a local eatery within the past year, and he always appears to be in good spirits, surrounded by family and without the aggravations of fans hounding him in between every bite of his toast. When you average over 8 points and 6 rebounds a game, the fans in OKC would be relentless in their efforts to get a piece of him if they saw him out at the local Choke and Puke.
Nick Collison called in to the Jim Traber show on The Sports Animal after hearing that he was being bashed over the airwaves for his love of Seattle.
(Editor’s note: I worked with Jim Traber for a year in Phoenix in 99 and know him pretty well. He’s a friend, but I don’t love his radio style. His way of winning an argument is to talk a lot louder than the person he’s arguing with. It’s a shame because often he does have valid points, but they’re overshadowed by his boorish yelling. In this case, he really has no valid points. Even his sidekick thinks Jim is misguided here. The transcription really doesn’t do justice of just how much Traber is yelling. He paints Collison into a corner over a twitter post. He then bashes Seattle fans for not supporting the team and showing up to games, but they actually did show up in the last few years. Just didn’t sell out like in the past. Traber even tries to get Collison to bash Seattle which Collison wouldn’t do.)
Traber accused Collison of ripping on Oklahoma City and his remarks about not wanting to leave Seattle:
“What? Did you read what I said? All I said was that it was hot there. When they asked me about if I was happy that the team had moved, I said ‘no, I was happy in Seattle while I was there.’ I was there five years. I said ‘no I didn’t want to move’ because liked where I was at. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with liking where you’re at.”
Traber said that Collison’s Twitter comments made public in the Oklahoman article about how great Seattle is are weak:
“That wasn’t weak. The point of that was to say that I can say something positive about Seattle and it has nothing to do with Oklahoma. It’s not a slap to Oklahoma, that’s what I meant by that. I’m actually surprised that anyone even cares what I’m doing. It’s not that interesting but like I heard people were upset that I was saying positive things about Seattle on Twitter, and so the point of that was not anything about Oklahoma City. That’s the whole point I was trying to make. This has nothing to do with Oklahoma City, but it’s a nice day in Seattle.”
Traber accused Collison of talking out of the side of his mouth when he’s making comments about how wonderful Seattle is:
“Not at all! The whole idea of it, literally, is that I’m telling everyone that if I say something good about Seattle it has nothing to do with Oklahoma City. I don’t understand how you don’t get that. I’ve never said anything bad about Oklahoma City. I said it was hot there. It was a hundred-and-five degrees and it was hot. And yes it is hot. That’s too hot, and if the people of Oklahoma City are mad at me for saying a hundred-and-five degrees is too hot, that’s fine. I grew up in Iowa, its hot there, I de-tassled corn and I hated it when it was hot. I sweat a lot, I’m the sweatiest dude in the league so I don’t like it being hot, and that’s all.”
Traber accused Collison of being upset with the city of Oklahoma after his generous pay of over six million dollars annually and the fans actually supporting the product as opposed to the low fan attendance the last year the Sonics were in Seattle and Collison saying he wanted the team to stay in Seattle:
“Seattle had fans also. They had fans for a long time and I didn’t feel like I should just turn my back on all of those fans. I never once, even though you’re trying to portray it as I am I never once said anything negative about Oklahoma City. We could have moved to my hometown of Iowa Falls and I would have said ‘I’m not excited that the Sonics are leaving Seattle.’ It has nothing to do with where we were going.”
Traber asked Collison to admit that the City of Seattle gave up on the Sonics by not attending games their final season:
“I know that the city that I’m in right now (Seattle) had a team for forty-one years. That’s a long time. And I know that they’ve been through a lot. When the current ownership group bought the team, there was writing on the wall that the team was going to leave and so that might have affected it. I know that we had good fans here and I enjoyed my time playing here.”