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Don't boo, Portland — be thankful

Mar 15, 2010, 10:16 AM EDT

turkoglu.jpgLast summer, there was deal was in place to bring Hedu Turkoglu and his stretch four game to the Portland Trail Blazers — he was to be team’s next step in evolving into a Western Conference Power. You all saw what he did in the playoffs, right? He killed the Lakers. So of course the people of Portland were enamored with him.

Then Turkoglu left them at the alter, choosing instead hockey and Chris Bosh in Toronto.

Portland fans don’t forget, and they let him know it when the Raptors came to the Rose Garden Sunday. They booed him in player introductions. They booed him every time he touched the ball. They booed him off the court. If they could have, they would have booed him in his hotel room.

But why? After watching him Sunday, did anyone in Portland think, “That’s the guy that puts us over the top?” Ben Golliver at Blazers Edge watched him and came away happy the Blazers missed out.

Tonight, Turkoglu went through the motions like so many slightly above average players on slightly below average teams. His shot was falling (4 of 5 from deep), he was careless with the basketball (4 turnovers) and he did not impact the game on the boards or on the defensive end.   Don’t look now but it could be a really, really, really long 5 years.

That could be you, Portland. You could have the guy with the future-killing five-year deal for a guy who is just kind of above average most nights. A guy taking the ball out of Brandon Roy’s hands. A guy who brings some skills but not the intensity most of the time. A guy who is an average defender

Don’t boo him, give thanks he had a change of heart. Leave his wife out of it and just count your blessings. You’re better off this way.

  1. Dan - Mar 15, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    True. You, Blazer fans, should send flowers to Hedo’s wife and keep counting your blessings. I somehow always hoped we could snatch Rudy from Portland, but it was not meant to be.
    Depressed Raptor fan.

  2. lance - Mar 16, 2010 at 1:39 AM

    Blazer fans were already about 50% opposed to the Turkoglu deal even at the time.
    Now they are outright euphoric that it didn’t go through.
    I found it rather odd that the fans booed. Various theories on that, perhaps just a sense of moral righteousness. Turkoglu’s apparent backing out of a verbal commitment strikes me as on the moral plain of a jaywalking violation, but with the moral hypersensitivity of Blazer fans in the aftermath of the jailblazer era, perhaps jaywalking is a capital offense.
    But I think the really nasty thing the Blazer fans could have done would have been to give Turkoglu a standing ovation. To thank him for not being an albatross around the Blazers’ neck.

  3. Eddie - Mar 17, 2010 at 1:07 AM

    Someone should show this article to Jon Barry, who’s convinced that Hedo’s the 2nd coming of Oscar Robertson and that the Magic were fools for NOT resigning him to a MASSIVE 5 year deal.
    I couldn’t agree more with the description of him as a slightly above average player, and I’ve always liked him as a player but he is clearly NOT the type of player that takes a team to the next level.

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