Everyone knew it was coming — after a lackluster season on the court then pushing for a trade out of there, you knew Raptors fans were going to boo Hedo Turkoglu when the Suns came to Toronto for a preseason game Sunday.
But the boos and hate had about as much passion behind them as Turkoglu played with last season. Not impressive, not LeBron in Cleveland.
Turkoglu even booed himself, as well. He also laughed. Which basically is just who Turkoglu is.
Turkoglu said the right things — telling the Toronto Sun it was about the team, not the city.
“When I (said) that I wanted to get out of here, I think (the fans) thought I was talking bad about the city,” said the Turk, who scored five points with five rebounds in 20 minutes. “But I love the city, I never had any problem with anybody.
“I never said anything about the city at all,” he continued. “I was the one who wanted to come here and play. I think people were upset that I left and I guess that’s why they’re mad at me.”
Maybe if this Raptor team had been on the verge of something, maybe if Chris Bosh had stayed the Toronto fans could work up more hate for Turkoglu.
Turkoglu says it was a lack of chemistry that caused his problems in Toronto. If “chemistry” is a code word for defense then there might be something to it. The Raptors just unraveled last year and Turkoglu — the high priced free agent coming in — gets a chunk of the blame for that. He was not what they though they had paid for (which was a mistaken belief anyway, but that’s another issue entirely).
When a team comes apart like Toronto did last year, plenty of people deserve blame. Maybe that’s why it’s hard to work up a lot of hatred for Turkoglu. Maybe he’s just not worth it. Or maybe it’s hard to have a lot of passion about anything Raptors right now.