And Hedo's still making news. And making waves
Yeah, sorry I’m a bit late. Life and all.
As I’m sure many are aware, Hedo Turkoglu went on TV back home in Turkey and said he’d like to get out of Toronto, management did him wrong after the now-infamous “he’s out after a missing a game” incident that landed him a de-facto one-game suspension from the team and he’s entirely unhappy.
Now, I didn’t see the interview but it’s pretty clear there some deep issues there.
So, what’s real? Well, there’s no denying he said it but if it caught you and I unawares, it did the same to the Raptors management and it’s all quiet on the record over there.
At least it was Friday night in some brief conversations I had.
(And, as an aside, can’t a guy get a night off around here? I guess not)
Anyway, since no one I talked to is saying anything for public consumption until they get more information, there’s not a whole lot of hard news.
I will tell you this, though, from some other chats I’ve had over the past little while:
If Hedo wants out, they’ll try to move him.
And it might not be as hard as you think.
I’m sure there are teams out there who are interested in his skill set and if anyone thinks the contract is unmovable, they best think again. A lot worse contracts have been traded over the years and that’s not going to be a huge impediment.
But let’s also consider this: Maybe things get lost in translation a bit, maybe Hedo’s “demand” is more of him venting as he did the day after the season ended, when he offered an apology for the way he handled things during the season but also said it wasn’t entirely his fault.
Here’s part of that transcript:
“I came here with a big contract, free agency and people expect a lot of stuff from you and if you don’t do it, it’s normal to get the blame. I’ll take the blame on my side for what I did bad, you guys (the reporters) have to look for both sides and judge it.
“For my side, I took the blame but, like you said, it wasn’t just me. I won’t show any excuses and I’ll just leave to you guys.”
There was obviously a big disconnect between Turk and his bosses that began when the Raptors coddled him for the pre-season and he responded by playing most of the season like an out-of-shape pooch.
But these are grown men we’re talking about and maybe differences can be put aside.
This latest episode – and it truly did catch a lot of people in the Raptors front office totally by surprise – just adds another thing to Bryan Colangelo’s to-do list for the summer.
Should he try to trade him?
Probably, yes; if there’s a deal to be made it’d be foolish not to try and make it work if it brings back something solid in return.
But, first, they need to sit down and talk face-to-face and see if this is salvageable. It’s one thing to be talking to a reporter back home, maybe the words are different sitting across from one another in a boardroom.
I was pretty sure, as I sat on a stool next to Stumpy and a couple of other Mighty Yankee coaches last night, that I looked up at the TV and saw Nate Robinson on the court and the Celtics-Magic game was nowhere near garbage time.
And sure enough, reports this morning indicate I wasn’t hallucinating.
Now, as odd as it was that a Kobe Bryant airball decided Game 5 of the Western Conference final, the fact that “Look At Me” Nate played a role in Boston’s Game 6 clincher over Orlando was even more unexpected.
What now, Magic?
After carving up the league for most of the regular season and laying waste to two far inferior playoff opponents, the Magic bowed relatively weakly to the Celtics, despite those two wins that gave the series an unexpected jolt.
It’s not hard to figure out what Orlando needs: They need another big who can score and take some pressure off Dwight Howard, who was good for parts of the Celtic series but far from great.
Rashard Lewis was MIA for most of the series, Vince Carter was a complete non-factor and you have to know that GM Otis Smith and ownership – which is on the hook for about $12 million in luxury tax payments this year – is going to try to do something significant.
What do they have? Well, they seem to have no need for Brandon Bass since they never played him, you’d think My Favourite Marcin could attract some interest in trades and JJ Redick’s a restricted free agent who could be dangled in a sign-and-trade deal.
There are definitely pieces they can turn into something (and, no, there is no chance they take Hedo back so, please, for the love of all that’s good in the world put that out of your mind) and I fully expect something of substance to happen down there.
The regular season was great, they got to the conference final a year after playing for the championship but the over-riding feeling is that they didn’t have a very good year and the sense I get is that change is afoot down there.
Okay, you know me and tweets, right?
Silly overshares most of the time and entirely yawn-inducing for the most part.
Except, not always.
Henry Abbott, who does tremendous work over at ESPN.com’s Truehoop blog – it has to be a must-read a couple of times a day for anyone – has unearthed this little gem that kind of puts a new spin on this whole twittering thing for me.
I am an Office fan, not the biggest one but Super Son and I make it destination viewing most night around dinner time and, thanks to Henry, I’m now paying far more attention to Kelly Kapoor. And her alter ego Mindy Kaling.
Yes, we will be around tonight to dissect and discuss Game 6 of the Lakers-Suns series. See you about 8? Should be fun.
I’m not going to tell you who said it and I’m not really going to give you much information or context.
But if you want to get excited about what’s coming in the next couple of months for the Raptors, I feel I can share this verbatim quote I got:
“Fasten your belt.”
All right, folks. A long day of sussing out Hedo news, answering mail, figuring out the Celtics, perhaps stopping by the Hawthorne fun fair and glowering at the growing dandelions on the Back 40 awaits. Wish me luck.