Tomorrow night at the Myriad Garden in Oklahoma City the Thunder will release their short film Mr. Thunder set over the last two weeks of Nick Collison’s career.
Under the rule of strict technicalities, Oklahoma City was eliminated by the Utah Jazz on April 27th in Game 6 of the first round. This would set the film’s timeline from April 13th–two days after the Thunder’s regular season finale win over the Memphis Grizzlies–to the 27th. This would only encompass Oklahoma City’s ill-fated playoff run. A series that Collison did not log a single minute.
According to the deadCenter’s press release on the film it will rather follow the 10-year Thunder forward over the final seven games of the regular season. Collison only appeared in two of those games–at Miami and Memphis–Oklahoma City went 4-3 in that seven-game stretch.
Also from the deadCenter release:
In the film, Collison refers to himself and his style of play as “the basketball version of a janitor.” “You gotta dive on the floor, you do it. You gotta set a screen, you do it. Take a hard foul, you do it. That’s what you’re supposed to do and I think that’s just how I play.”
It will no doubt highlight the final game where Russell Westbrook acknowledged Collison prior to tipoff at center-court.
“I’m not sure if it’s his last season or not,” Westbrook said prior to the game to a receptive crowd on April 25th. “But he’s always someone I’ve looked up to as a brother. He’s done so much for me and this organization and I just want to make sure you guys give him a standing ovation for the things he’s done for Oklahoma City.”
The man himself joined the station for a candid interview you can listen to here yesterday
“It was more the team wanted to do something than mine,” Collison said yesterday with Todd Lisenbee and Dylan Buckingham. “I was down with it, and it was really good for me. It allowed me to reflect and go down memory lane a bit which I don’t get to do during the season much.”
It will be interesting if there is more of the “memory lane” angle. Everyone would want to hear James Harden trade stories or Kevin Durant leaving thoughts. Of course, the Thunder are notoriously tight-lipped on matters like that so it is safe to assume the memories will be more light-hearted.
While Collison was not able to provide some highlights of play, there is no doubt the guy was huge for the Thunder during his entire stint. To say his presence will be missed is an understatement. It will be nice to see interviews from players, coaches and team officials as they pay their respects to the veteran.
Stick with The Franchise Saturday as we will be live from the Myriad Garden lawn providing coverage before the airing of Mr. Thunder.