Evan Turner on His Disappointing Rookie Season: “I have always come out on top in the past and I plan on doing that in the future”February 1, 2011 – 11:00 am by Chris Fedor
Evan Turner was the best player in college basketball a year ago and he was drafted second overall by the Philadelphia 76ers. Heading into his rookie season, there was a lot of pressure on Evan Turner and there were high expectations for him this year in Philly as well. He hasn’t lived up to those expectations and this season has been somewhat of a disappointment for the former Player of the Year. Turner has been in and out of the rotation, he has struggled to his new role playing away from the ball, and it was just recently when things looked like they started to click for Turner. He is still wildly inconsistent and is still trying to adjust to life in the NBA, but as tough as it has been for him in his first NBA season, he is starting to show flashes of the ability that made him the second overall pick in June.
Evan Turner joined WIP in Philadelphia with Ike Reese and Howard Eskin to talk about what has changed in his game recently, how tough of an adjustment it was for him coming from college to the pros, whether or not he keeps tabs on other rookies that were drafted around him and how they are doing, and what he thinks of his rookie season so far.
Whether or not Doug Collins putting him on Chauncey Billups the other night gave him more confidence as a player:
“I just think in general whenever someone has confidence in you that picks your game up even more. When he got going and decided to put me in to guard Chauncey Billups I just didn’t want to let him down. I feel more confident, I feel like my game is starting to pick up, and come along. I’m just ready for whatever and I’m just happy to have the opportunity.”
What he thinks about his rookie season:
“It’s been rough, but the biggest thing is I learned a lot from it in regards to having to work my way through how to be an NBA player. I started off and had a few good games and then it flipped 180 degrees. I wasn’t playing a few games or barely getting off the bench. I think those type of down moments helped me grow as a person and a player. That’s the best thing that could’ve probably happened to me. Not everything can be easy ya know.”
If he ever keeps tabs on what other rookies around the NBA are doing:
“Absolutely not. I only care about myself and my teammates. Honestly what somebody else does doesn’t benefit me. I feel like it’s a long race, it’s not a short race. I have always come out on top in the past and I plan on doing that in the future.”
What is the difference between his game now and earlier in the season:
“I think honestly I was just thinking too much. I think throughout my tenure in the NBA, at the beginning I just kept thinking too much. I didn’t really try and do my stuff and play ball. I was just overly thinking every situation. How can I fit in since I don’t get the ball like I did in college and stuff? Lately I just said forget it, let’s go out there, just try and play my butt off, and chip in as much as I can.”
How tough it was to adjust to not having the ball as much as he did in college:
“It started off being extremely difficult because I’m always used to having the ball in my hands and making plays, but at the same time I want to grow as a player, keep getting better in this league, and adapt to the players on my team. Such as Jrue (Holliday). I want to be able to run in the backcourt with him in the future so I know I need to hit wide open shots and just get better as a shooter. I just need to keep working at it and keep getting repetitions, keep getting results, and keep working hard every single day. I’m sure it will come and that’s all you can really do.”