Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Adieu to Hedo

Remember when the General Manager of the Toronto Raptors Brian Colangelo gave Hedo Turkoglu a five-year $53 million contract? Remember when at the press conference he said, "The guy sitting next to me is a guy I've been coveting for many, many years. I tried to sign him years ago. It didn't work out. I said to myself I wouldn't make that mistake a second time."

Oh what a difference a year makes.

Last week in an interview with a Turkish television station Turkoglu made it clear that he did not want to come back to the team next season. He said that he was unhappy about his role within the team and felt betrayed by the organization on a number of occasions. Basically he wants to be traded and has zero interest in playing for the Raptors next year.

Say it ain't so. Hedo leaving? Now who will chuck up multiple airballs in the 4th quarter when they are clearly well defended and the team is down? Who will play turnstile defense allowing guys to get to the basket at will? Who will be in embarrassing Pizza Pizza commercials? Who will try their best to break my television when their ugly face is shown? Who will be so out of shape he makes Charles Barkley look like Lance Armstrong?

Please Hedo don't leave.

How ever will we replace your 11 points per game? Or your 37% 3-point field goal percentage? And let's not forget your 4 assists and 4 rebounds per game? Wherever will we find a player who can average those kind of stats playing 30 minutes per game? Does such a player even exist?

OK I will stop with the mocking questions. Hedo has been a bust since the minute he signed that ludicrous deal a year ago. $9 million a season for a non-athletic poor defender that put up decent numbers only because he was surrounded by a uber-talented Orlando Magic team (Howard, Nelson, and Lewis) are you kidding me? This was a stupid idea from Day 1 and it never matured into anything other than that.

When Turkoglu first signed with the Raptors the team allowed him to skip part of training camp and rest up from his playoff run with the Magic and the World Championships where he competed for Turkey. That right there was problem #1. What that did was give Turkoglu a sense of entitlement as the team made exceptions for him.

You should never put one player on your team above the others because basketball is a team sport. I don't care if its Hedo, LeBron or Kobe you can't set a precedent where one player receives special treatment like that. How did the Raptors not see that they were getting a lazy player when he immediately asked for time off upon signing a $53 million deal?

Problem #2 is that Hedo sucks. Countless times I watched as the game would be close in the dying seconds of the 4th quarter and Hedu would get the ball and throw up a brick. The Raptors tried to force him into this role of "4th quarter closer" but it never worked. Why you ask? Because Hedo Turkoglu is a bad basketball player.

Since his early years with the Sacramento Kings Turkoglu has always been on good teams. He has never had to be the star and was never relied upon. Then he comes to Toronto and the media makes him out to be this elite player who will make the Raptors a contender in the Eastern Conference. Do these people even watch basketball? He never plays defense and he can't run the floor. Going into the season the Raptors preached athleticism and defense. Yeah Turkoglu seems like a perfect fit there.

Sidenote: How was him leaving Orlando for Toronto not a massive warning sign. The guy leaves a team that came so close to winning an NBA Championship over a couple million dollars? He doesn't want to win he wants to get paid. That should have been a huuuuuge red flag.

The part about this whole story that pisses me off the most is the timing and the way it was released. The whole thing just wreaks of Vince Carter. Turkoglu is coming off arguably the worst year of his career and is signed to a big long term deal. By publicly stating that he doesn't want to be a Raptor he has let every GM in the NBA know that he has to get traded. This means Colangelo will be hard pressed to get even a semblance of fair market value. I mean is there even a market for ugly power forwards who can't run and refuse to play defense?

So what happened is Hedo took a shit on his trade value and then asks to be traded. Colangelo will be lucky if he can get a bench player back in a deal.

I for one can't wait for Hedo to pack up his crap and leave town. His ugly face and awful play are no longer welcome within the borders of the GTA. May he go off and fade into obscurity like so many before him who overvalued themselves.

Random YouTube Video (A True Classic - Laaaiiid What Up?)

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