Seldom has a game gone by without Nick Collison putting his body on the line. Collison has played a majority of the 2008-09 season with two broken fingers, prompting the fifth-year player to joke that he still has 80% of his fingers.
Collison has shown no fear ever since he came into the league as a decorated collegiate player in 2003, even after missing his entire rookie season after having surgery on both shoulders.
Collison has developed a reputation for doing the intangibles.
He gets on the floor for loose balls. He has a nose for rebounding. Heís never backed down from a challenge, whether itís defending Shaquille OíNeal or Tim Duncan. And heís proven capable of hitting the open midrange jumper.
Collisonís contributions often are not found in the score box.
One of his biggest plays of this season helped the Thunder to one of its biggest wins against the Toronto Raptors on Dec. 19. Collison wrestled Torontoís Chris Bosh for an offensive rebound that gave Oklahoma City another possession late in the game and resulted in a basket that gave the Thunder some breathing room en route to a 91-83 victory.
Collison learned how to play the game of basketball from his father, Dave, who coached him in high school in his hometown of Iowa Falls, Iowa.
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