Hedo Turkoglu was one of last season’s biggest free-agent flops. His play was inconsistent, his attitude was called into question, and the intangibles he was supposed to bring from Orlando didn’t keep the Raptors from being kept out of the playoffs.
After the season, Turkoglu made it worse by stating that he did not want to return to Toronto during an appearance on Turkish television. On Thursday, Turkoglu was back on that same TV channel, but a visit from new Raptors assistant coach P.J. Carlesimo seems to have changed Turkoglu’s attitude about playing in Toronto.
Here are a few translations of what Turkoglu said during his appearance, courtesy of ESPN.com’s Henry Abbott:
“As a basketball player, my only goal is to perform at the highest level again. I want to play in a system that fits me. I’m happy that Carlesimo is here, he’s a good friend of mine since my Spurs days.”“Everybody makes mistakes, that’s a fact. Both parties [Hedo and Raptors management] think that it’s time to correct them. Toronto wants me back and to take the leading role. I’m happy that Carlesimo is here, and we will all see what summer brings. I don’t have any problems with the city of Toronto or the Raptors. I want to be able to perform at the highest level.”
It sounds like Hedo has cooled off a little bit, which is a good thing for both him and the Raptors franchise, who would have been forced to sell Hedo at the nadir of his value. Hopefully Hedo will get with the program next season; with Chris Bosh likely gone, Turkoglu is going to need to step his game up in a major way next year.