Getting To Know...Nick Collison

Nick Collison drives to the basket.
True story: There was this one time, in a basketball game, that Nick Collison had his shorts around his ankles. Obviously, that wasn’t by choice.

Suffice to say that Collison has experienced a lot throughout his basketball career, from nearly going without a loss his entire prep career to a National Championship Game appearance in college to the NBA, where he’s made a name for himself as a physical, scrappy bruiser of sorts, the kind of guy who brings a bit of everything to the team.

For now, he’s about helping the Thunder improve from last season. He also wants to read more books and explore more cities.

We caught up with Collison for today’s installment of “Getting To Know…”

So you got your shorts pulled down one time during a game, right?
“We were playing a team, they weren’t very good, and we ended up winning 116 to 30-something. We set a school record. I went to turn and shoot and a kid pulled my shorts down.”

Do you think he was mad?
“Nah, I think it was a joke. It was weird. It was like his coach was in on it. And then when we had 98 points, they scored the 100th point in our basket – so they inbounded the ball and scored in our basket. It was just like a joke, man.”

How did you react to getting pantsed?
“I was upset about it. I was just shocked. Luckily I had shorts on underneath. I had like a smaller pair of basketball shorts underneath. I just pulled them up and they threw the kid out and maybe threw the coach out. Yeah, I was just shocked. I felt like it was more embarrassing for them but, whatever. It’s a story not too many people have. My senior year of high school.”

Is it true you lost only one game from third grade to your senior year of high school?
“Probably not. Well, we lost one in high school. My freshman year I played on the freshmen team and we didn’t lose. Eighth grade we didn’t lose. Seventh grade we lost ‘cause I lived in a different town, so it’s not exactly true. But I lost one game from ninth grade on.”

Do you remember that one loss?
“Yeah, it was in the state tournament. It was a nightmare. Like I said, freshman year we were 26-0 but I played on the freshmen team. My sophomore year we went to the state (tournament) and were the No. 1 team in the state. First game of the state tournament we got beat and just played terrible. It was good for me, though, because I thought I was really good. We kind of had a big head. We kind of just walked through the season. Our conference wasn’t that good. I had three points and played against a more physical kid and he just kind of beat me up and we lost 45-42. It was an ugly game and I really worked hard after that. It was really a wake-up call for me, so I was lucky to have that at a young age and we won every game the next two years.”

Do you like to read a lot?
“I made a resolution I was going to read a lot more this year. … I want to try to do less DVDs on the (team) plane and more books.”

Any books you’ve targeted?
“I like books from Malcolm Gladwell. I’ve read “Blink,” “Tipping Point,” and now I’m reading “Outliers.” And it’s kind of like almost useless information. Some of it can help you but it’s kind of just interesting stuff about people and sociological experiment-type things. I don’t know. If I get advice on a good book I’ll read it. I want to start reading more funny books. More of the humor stuff. If I hear of a good book I’ll read it. Maybe some stuff that can help me, some business-type stuff. It would be good to get some ideas that way as I get older and prepare for life after basketball. Try to think of some more things I could be doing.”

Do you have any idea of what you’d like to do after you’re done playing?
“I don’t know. I think I can be really good in coaching but that’s a tough thing to do when you’ve played for so long and with your family, the time commitments. It’s something I’d have to consider. I’ve got a few real estate things I’m starting now, that kind of stuff would be cool except for it’s not really always day-to-day stuff. I’m going to have to do something, though. I don’t know. It’s a thing a lot of guys have a tough time with because it’s a big step and you’ve always had that next year – you always know what you’re doing for 20 years, and all of a sudden you don’t know.”

Last question: anything people would be surprised to know about you, whether you’re a good dancer, play the flute, cook or something?
“No, I don’t, man. I’m pretty boring. I love funny TV shows. I’ve got my home DVR set. I’ve got all the “Curb Your Enthusiasms.” I had all the “Sopranos” and “Wire.” “Wire” was probably my favorite series, ever. I’ve got the first season of “Mad Men.” I love having the TV ones because on the plane it’s so much easier. You’ve got shorter flights, you can knock out quick episodes. A lot of funny shows – “30 Rock,” “Office.” I like “How I Met Your Mother,” that’s a good show. The new show “Modern Family” is good, on NBC. And then I got addicted to that show “Flash Forward.” It’s going to be like “Lost.” I’m into it.

“I think playing in the NBA, a lot of guys get into TV and movies because you don’t want to get off the couch because you’re so tired in your off time. Offseason I like to get out and do stuff. I’d really like to get out and do different stuff in the cities wherever I’m at. I’m going to try to do that more and get around, because we go to all of these cool cities and I don’t want to be done with my career and be like, ‘I never really saw anything.’ I always just went to the hotel and the game, so I’m going to try and do that this year. Maybe look and see what’s going on in town if we’ve got some time.”

Contact Chris Silva