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LeBron James understands why Orlando brought Hedo Turkoglu back

Dec 19, 2010, 10:01 PM EDT

Golden State Warriors vs Phoenix Suns

When the Orlando Magic reacquired Hedo Turkoglu this weekend in their batch of megatrades, the biggest reaction was confusion. Why would they bring back Turkoglu, who had been let go in 2009 because the Magic felt his skills would erode with age, and then that exact thing occurred? He was a washout with Toronto after he signed his huge deal with them. When you signing elsewhere is something the Blazers are grateful for, you’re in bad shape. He was just as unimpressive with Phoenix. Who could possibly explain why the Magic wanted him back in blue?

LeBron James, that’s who.

From Wizards blog TruthAboutIt.Net, who caught up with James after the Wizards’ devastating loss to the Heat:

“I’ve thought that it was surprising when Turk (Hedo Turkoglu) wasn’t brought back  the year after they beat us [Cleveland Cavaliers]. I just thought what Turk created for their team, that point-four created everything. He always created a mismatch and that was part of the reason why they beat us. There were times I would switch off onto Turk and they would go to Rashard (Lewis). Sometimes I would go on Rashard and they would go to Turk.  We were too small on the perimeter during those years … I know they’re happy to have him back. It’s gonna be different, it’s going to be a different transition because I know when you break up a team and bring guys in it takes a while. We’ll see what happens.”

via Truth About It » Quote Mix: Ten good minutes with a mumbling LeBron James.

James has had his fair share of experiences with changes to contending teams. His Cavs made several moves mid-season to try and get them over the top, including acquiring Ben Wallace and Wally Szczerbiak (yes, this was a real plan), and another move to acquire Antawn Jamison. Of course, that neither move wound up netting the small-market Cavaliers a championship, nor did they keep LeBron James in town should not go unnoticed as everyone starts glancing at Dwight Howard out of the corner of their eyes.

It was revealing though to read James’ comments about the Magic’s ability to work over a stout Cavalier defense in 2009 with Turkoglu running point forward. It was that mechanism that could kick start defensive rotations to cover, enabling the Magic to find the open three-point shooter. The Cavs weren’t the only team that fell victim to that tactic though, as the much heralded Boston Celtics also lost to the Turkoglu Magic. But of course, you have to mention, everyone together, say it with me…

Kevin Garnett didn’t play in that series.

It was two years ago, and hoping for a repeat of that performance is probably a fool’s errand considering the inevitable downward slide of Turkoglu’s abilities which have already lost quite a bit, and Boston being some sort of hell beast sent to destroy us all this season. But if you’re looking for why Orlando might think it that important, James points out a salient point.

Also, he thinks Justin Bieber is a “cook kid, man.” So there’s that.

  1. Colin Zvosec - Dec 19, 2010 at 10:06 PM

    You and I both know Wally wasn’t brought in to put the Cavs over the top. He was merely trade filler in order to get Larry Hughes and Drew Gooden out of town.

    Fault the Cavs for not moving Wally’s huge expiring at the following deadline, but don’t act like Wally was the “key piece” the Cavs thought would get them to the finals.

    Come on Matt, you’re better than that.

    • 8dollarbeer - Dec 19, 2010 at 10:16 PM

      No he really isn’t. Reading his posts is like talking sports with a 6th grade girl.

  2. sham13ert - Dec 20, 2010 at 9:54 AM

    Not sure that you can attribute Turk’s slide with age when his numbers with Toronto dropped across the board.

    – 6 min/game, -4 FGA/game, -1 3PTA/game, -2 FTA/game, – 5 PTS/game.

    Not to put this on Toronto, but they finished a shade under .500 last year, Chris Bosh literally quit on them, and they benched Turk halfway through the season because he wasn’t doing what he was doing in Orlando.

    Why wasn’t he doing what he was doing in Orlando? Because he was in Toronto, the worst basketball city in the world. Not to mention that when he went to Phoenix they already had a guy playing the 3 by the name of Grant Hill and Turk is no 4, but they started him there anyway over Hakim Warrick.

    My guess is, that if Turk isn’t playing up to par with his 08/09 numbers by the All-Star break, I’d be very surprised.

    Oh, and on the Garnett thing. That’s the breaks. Boston knew what they were getting when they signed Garnett and older all-star. If they thought that he wasn’t going to ever breakdown, they’re just as disillusioned as you are.

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