Evan Turner got his butt kicked.
And in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, he admitted it — Summer League was not good to him.
“I’ve been playing pretty much every day against good competition,” Turner said. “It was really an eye-opener for me to get my butt kicked, but it was also a good thing, I think. That hasn’t happened to me in a really long time, so it made me realize how much harder I had to work to get myself ready for training camp. I can’t wait to get started and play with my new teammates and learn from them, and get ready for the season.”
Turner blamed conditioning issues for his poor play, although it was pretty clear he was also struggling to adjust to the speed and athleticism of NBA-level players. He seemed to be over-thinking, trying to find where his game fits in. Turner averaged 9.4 points per game and had more turnovers than assists.
The good news is that it was Summer League. It is the North Dakota presidential primary of the NBA — not wholly irrelevant, but pretty close. Stephen Curry struggled in the 2009 Summer League, and now 29 other teams covet him.
But Turner only gets better if he works at it now. And he is.
“I’ve talked to coach [Doug] Collins quite a bit since being drafted,” Turner said. “I really love his enthusiasm for the game and how excited he is for the season. I’ve talked to some of my teammates and am looking forward to getting to know them better. I’ve talked to ‘Iggy’ [Andre Iguodala] and he’s been giving me some really good advice. Everything so far is going really well. I just can’t wait to get it all started.”