Nick Collison has long been the kind of hardworking, won't-show-up-in-the-box-score-play-making contributor who sets Oklahoma City Thunder fans (and adjusted plus/minus acolytes) hearts' aflame. The 33-year-old forward hasn't been a regular starter in six years, but when he gets his 15 to 20 minutes of floor time, he tends to give maximum effort, putting the proverbial blood, sweat and tears into his work on both ends of the floor.
As you might remember, though, during the third quarter of the Thunder's April 3 home victory over the San Antonio Spurs — who would get their revenge a couple of months later before getting a second, far sweeter brand of vengeance — the blood went from "proverbial" to "pretty flippin' real," "pervasive" and "pouring out of his skull":
Collison began losing vital fluid after being clocked in the head by the elbow of Spurs big man Jeff Ayres while vying for a rebound, but continued going about his business (naturally) until eventually the refs realized he was about four seconds away from sporting a Dusty Rhodes-style crimson mask and stopped play. Collison calmly sauntered over to the bench, sat down and bled some more while the trainers tried to clean him up; when they couldn't, Collison bled some more, stood up and calmly sauntered to the locker room to receive eight stitches.
Collison later returned to the game (naturally) and all was well. You'd never know that he'd been lacerated and leaking mere minutes earlier ... well, unless you took a close look at his shoes, which had taken a little bit of splatter amid all that screen-setting and sauntering. Now, if you're in the market for an arguably gross but inarguably unique bit of memorabilia, you can win the right to take a closer look at the splatter whenever you want by bidding on those game-worn, autographed and, yes, blood-stained kicks as part of the Thunder Cares August Auction:
Oklahoma City Thunder forward/center Nick Collison wore these shoes during the April 3, 2014, Thunder home game against the San Antonio Spurs. During the game, Collison took a hit to the head, resulting in a cut that left several drops of blood on these shoes, which Collison later autographed.
Check out the goods:
OK, so this is more a light sprinkling of blood than, like, "Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood," but still, if you're into Nick Collison in a way that one could argue borders on troubling, you can scoop up a pair of signed high-tops enriched by his platelets. As of this writing, it'll only cost you $850 to land the top bid. Who among us wouldn't drop nearly a stack to get their hands on a pair of blood-stained shoes? I'll tell you who: people whose level fandom is unacceptable and inferior!
That said, if you find the prospect of blood-stained swag somewhat unsettling but still want to get in the bidding for Thunder-worn paraphernalia while helping raise money for the Thunder Cares Foundation, you can also put up some dough in an auction for a game-worn Kevin Durant Oklahoma City shooting shirt. It'll run you at least $700 at the moment, but the value's sure to skyrocket once Drake makes it a throwback.
Bidding on both items, and a "fan pack" featuring Reggie Jackson's autograph, wraps up at 8 p.m. ET on Aug. 18, so start getting your finances in order, y'all. If you miss out on this pair of blood-stained Nick Collison sneakers, you're probably never going to get another chance.
Then again ...
Currently on a plane focusing on my breathing to lower my heart rate so I dont seem shook because I knocked down the exit sign with my head
— Nick Collison (@nickcollison4) July 5, 2014
It must be hard to be really tall. Watch your head, Nick; you wouldn't want to lower the value of this auction item. (Or, y'know, continue losing skull blood.)
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