Oh boy. Well didn’t this turn out nicely.
If you haven’t been following, The Oklahoman’s *finest* writer, Jenni Carlson, wrote a column about Nick Collison’s Twitter and the supposed backhanded slaps at Oklahoma City hidden within. As a result local radio host Jim Traber, has decided to “declare war on Nick Collison” and vowed to run him out of town. Seriously. Then Nick, being the awesome dude that he is, called in to Traber’s show and put him on the spot about it. (You can listen to Jim and Nick here.)
Whew. Deep breath. So that’s where we stand.
First off, I’m embarrassed. I’m embarrassed that it came to this. Collison tweeted a few things, Jenni Carlson wrote a wandering, pointless column about it and then Jim Traber decided to do what he does best – yell at everyone. And as a result, freaking Nick Collison felt compelled to call in and defend himself for this insanity. Is this really happening? Where am I? What year is it?
What sucks most, is that a guy like Traber is one of the main voices for our great state. It’s like he thinks he speaks for all of us. I appreciate Jim taking up the torch and feeling the need to defend us. I think that’s what he thinks he’s doing. His heart is in the right place. He challenged Ric Bucher about Bill Simmons’ shenanigans a couple months ago and I liked that. I really appreciate Traber sticking up for the city and not letting people walk all over us. Saaaa-lute.
But this was just the wrong battle to fight. It was over a couple Twitter messages - “I see it’s 105 in OKC today… sounds nice” – and other things like that. That’s it. Weather commentary. You would have thought Nick tweeted, “In Seattle (the place I wish I still played professional basketball) loving my life. Pissed that I have to go back to the wasteland that is Oklahoma in two months.” But all he said was that it’s hot in OKC and a nice day in Seattle. Ho-ly crap.
Then it all came to a head when Nick said, “DISCLAIMER (the following is in no way shape or form commentary on Oklahoma City) …….but….. its another beautiful day in Seattle.” Jim must have trouble with things like “sarcasm” and “comedy.” CLEARLY Nick is making light of the situation. CLEARLY Nick is just tossing out a little joke. But no. Traber took that as yet another pseudo shot at OKC. And then we all jumped on the train to Psychoville and wound up here.
Traber is like a jealous child that’s ready to snap at anything. He’s so oversensitive to anything Seattle that because Collison complemented the city he lives in, Traber took that as a jab at OKC. If Nick lived in San Francisco and said, “What a sweet day in San Fran… I love living here,” would anyone have cared? So what that he chooses to live in Seattle? I’ve never been but I hear it’s an awesome town. This just has nothing to do with basketball. HE JUST LIVES THERE AND LIKES IT. What is so wrong with that? Even if Nick secretly hates OKC and wishes every night the team hadn’t moved, his play on the court never reflected it. And isn’t that what matters? He gets on the floor, takes charges, makes hustle plays and does the little things you love. You think he would’ve been on the deck against Toronto wrestling the ball away from Chris Bosh and spurring OKC to victory if he hated this place? And as long as that continues, he can get a tattoo of the Space Needle on his face for all I care.
Heck, I understand if Nick’s a little miffed about moving. He was one of the longest tenured Sonics that had to move to OKC. He was drafted by them. He played there for five seasons. He made his home there. I’m sure he felt an attachment to the city and its people and rightly so. So when he was asked if he was sad the team was leaving last year, I’m glad he was honest and said he’d rather stay. Because that was the truth and it’d be crazy if he said otherwise. Of all people, Traber ought to “give it up” to him for his great morals and for being an upstanding individual. But again, Nick’s comments weren’t an indictment on OKC. It’s just that he’d rather have stayed in Seattle. Which is fine. I bet when players get traded, they’re sad about leaving. Same thing here. But that doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate their new city.
It’s just all so ridiculous that it even came to this. Traber’s ego doesn’t help. What’s sad is that he thinks he actually has the power to run someone out of town. Yeah, like Sam Presti gives two craps about Nick Collison’s preferred living situation. All Presti cares about is if Nick can handle Dirk Nowitzki in the post. Nick has never had anything but nice things to say about Oklahoma City. Traber is trying to make this into a Seattle vs. OKC thing when nothing is there. There’s no controversy. What happened in 2008 doesn’t matter. What Nick said in 2008 doesn’t matter. What Nick tweeted last week doesn’t matter. What matters is that he currently plays basketball for the Oklahoma City Thunder and does a pretty good job of it.
You know what Jeff Capel tweeted today? “It’s such a beautiful day in North Carolina!!!!!!” OH CRAP DOES JEFF HATE OKLAHOMA AND THIS IS HIS VEILED WAY OF TELLING US QUESTION MARK? I mean, how ridiculous is it to deduce that from Capel’s message? So why, oh why, are we doing it with Nick?
Traber, you’ve embarrassed me for taking such a bold, ridiculous stance on this non-issue and I pray that Nick Collison doesn’t hate this entire state because of you. You’ve gone way too far this time. I can get over you yelling over some poor guy and calling him a FOOL 25 times in 15 seconds because he thinks bunting to break up a no-hitter is acceptable. I can live with you preaching to everybody about morality and the correct way to live as you see it. I can live with you constantly reminding me that you’ve done radio for 25 years and played Major League Baseball for three very unproductive seasons. I can hanlde all of those things. But when you take up these causes and as a result, embarrass me and make me worry about the perception of sports fans in this state, well, then you’ve gone too far.
The funny thing is, I agree with Traber about sports probably 90 percent of the time. I think he’s pretty dead on a lot. He’s right about Michael Vick. He spot on about steroids in baseball. I love that he doesn’t beat around the bush and that he just says what he’s thinking. It makes for good radio. Though I don’t always like the way he handles his show or himself, it’s not like he’s a Skip Bayless type lunatic. But when he’s off, he’s WAY off and the worst part is, he’s far too prideful to back off.
And if for the crazy fact he sees this and feels the need to call me out – yes Jim, I’m a tiny little blogger. I’m not anonymous and I’m not hiding behind anything. My name is Royce Young (email firstname.lastname@example.org) and I think you’re being a fool. I’m not some guy that hates you or that’s jealous of your life. I’m just a sports fan in Oklahoma that thinks you’ve overstepped sanity this time. Come and get me brother. I’m ready to be called a fool. I just hope you can handle being called one too.