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    Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nick Collison is retiring after 15 years in the NBA.
    The 37-year-old Collison announced his decision Thursday through the team. The Thunder said Collison is among five NBA players to have spent the past 15 or more seasons all with one franchise.
    ”My goal was always to make a career out of basketball and I was blessed to be in the NBA for 15 seasons Joel Iyiegbuniwe Color Rush Jersey ,” Collison said in a statement.
    The 6-foot-10 Collison did not give a reason for his retirement. He played in just 15 games this past season. His best season came in 2007-08, when he averaged 9.8 points and 9.4 rebounds in the last year before the Seattle SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City.
    Collison was selected No. 12 overall out of Kansas by the Seattle Supersonics in 2003.
    Thunder executive vice president and general manager Sam Presti said Collison was a player who set the course for the team at home in Oklahoma City. ”Nick has helped define the standards we work by on a day-to-day basis, on and off the court,” Presti said. ”He has become synonymous with the Thunder shield.”
    Thunder chairman Clayton I. Bennett said that after purchasing the SuperSonics, the first thing he saw in the gym was Collison practicing his jump shot. That moment stuck with Bennett http://www.jaguarsauthorizedshops.co...ner-lee-jersey , who thanked Collison for being the same person today as he was then. ”The Thunder will forever be a better organization because he was here,” Bennett said.
    Collison started 177 of his 910 career regular-season games, averaging 5.9 points and 5.2 rebounds. He and Russell Westbrook are the only two players to spend the first 10 years of the relocated franchise in Oklahoma City.
    Collison thanked family, friends, teammates Kolton Miller Color Rush Jersey , coaches and fans for his career. ”It would not have been possible to do it on my own,” he said.

    The Tennessee Titans kicked off their search for a new head coach Thursday with a pair of interviews – both defensive coordinators who’ve never been NFL head coaches.
    The Titans confirmed they interviewed Houston’s Mike Vrabel and Carolina’s Steve Wilks. Tennessee is looking to replace Mike Mularkey, fired Monday after he went 21- 22 and won the franchise’s first playoff game in 14 years.
    Vrabel, 42, has never been a head coach at any level. He is coming off his first season as defensive coordinator for the Texans. Vrabel played 14 years in the NFL with Pittsburgh Josh Rosen Color Rush Jersey , New England where he won three Super Bowl titles and Kansas City before going into coaching. He started coaching in 2011 at his alma mater, Ohio State. He coached linebackers and defensive linemen.
    Vrabel went to Houston in 2014 and coached linebackers with the Texans for three seasons before becoming coordinator. The Texans won the AFC South in 2015 and 2016 thanks to strong defenses. The unit slipped this season with the Texans’ defense decimated by injuries to players including J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus .
    General manager Jon Robinson gave little indication Monday of what he’s looking for in the man who will be the Titans’ fourth head coach eight seasons and third in quarterback Marcus Mariota’s fourth season.
    ”Leader of men,” Robinson said of what he wants in a new head coach. ”Obviously, the things that are stamped out there on those pillars: team-first, detailed Adam Boqvist Blackhawks Jersey , tough, dependable. One that’s going to, like I said, maximize the abilities of the players in all three phases of the game.”
    Wilks has only been a head coach in college at Savannah State in 1999. His first season as defensive coordinator with the Panthers was 2017, but he has coached with Chicago http://www.jetsauthorizedshops.com/a...darnold-jersey , the Chargers and joined Carolina in 2012. Wilks was assistant head coach in 2015 and 2016.
    Interviewing Wilks helped the Titans satisfy the league’s Rooney Rule, and Wilks also interviewed with the New York Giants about their opening. Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis certainly thinks Wilks has earned the right to be a head coach.
    ”He has done a tremendous job of coming in and taking over this defense and really giving us a chance to be successful,” Davis said.

    AP Sports Writer Steve Reed contributed to this report from Charlotte.

    Follow Teresa M. Walker at .

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