News broke early Monday afternoon that the Portland Trail Blazers had agreed to trade Evan Turner to the Atlanta Hawks in return for Kent Bazemore. After three full seasons in Portland, Turner's time in Rip City has come to an end. While he may not have been everything fans wanted on the court, off of it he was in a class of his own. A social media icon, and locker room leader, Evan Turner was well-liked and highly respected. Now Rip City has to move on without him, and he has to move on without Rip City. Our Blazers Outsiders gave us their thoughts on the departure of ET.
“That’s my bread, and I earned my bread.” (via The Athletic)
Evan Turner came to Portland on a fluffy contract, which effectively divided the fan base into two camps: the “this guy is overpaid and underperforming” camp, and the “this guy’s social media presence alone is worth it” camp. Me? I’m in the second camp. I’ve been here since the beginning. Actually, I’ve been *glamping* here, babe. Straight chillin’. Now, the fire has died and the s’mores are gone, and all I’m left with is just...
...the most entertaining Instagram and Twitter
accounts the NBA has to offer.
The squirrel feeding saga. Icing his forehead with a chain. Refusing to pay the parking meter because he “already pays Uncle Sam enough in taxes.” Stuck in the elevator. “If they liked me, I liked them”, referring to his high school love life on the Road Trippin’ Podcast. Trolling teammates on the plane. The fits, I mean the absolute drippity fits. The list goes on, and it will continue to go on, because I will never unfollow Evan Turner. There is no other NBA player as charismatic, hilarious, entertaining and real as ET.
Plenty can be said of Evan Turner’s emergence as a solid (and what proved to be series-saving) second unit leader for the Blazers this season. He knew how to spread the floor, find the open man, get creative with assists and facilitate an offense that could stay afloat long enough to give Dame some much-needed rest. The dude saved us in that playoff game- if you know, then you know.
That’s not what I will remember most about the man who secured a spot on my Trail Blazers Mount Rushmore. Posting up is cool or whatever, but the man could POST. On social media. Do you get it?
“Thanks for the cheese.” (via @evanturner’s IG post)
Evan Turner made a sandwich out of what Portland gave him, but I hope his next adventure in Atlanta gets him the chip with the dip, too. Whatever the hell that means.
From an on the court perspective, I love the trade. Turner was good on defense, ran the second unit well as the point guard, but his inability to hit shots from deep would handicap the Blazers offense at times. Bazemore, on the other hand, is also good on the defensive end but hits the deep ball at a much higher clip (career 35.2% compared to Turners 29.6%).
It's the things Turner did off the court and in the locker room that will be hard to fill. Turner has always been a team-first guy. He's well-liked in every city he has ever stopped in. Fans love his personality, his grit, and teammates just loved playing with him. He was a glue guy, and while Damian Lillard gets all the credit as the leader of the Blazers, Turner's contributions to the team's culture in Rip City can't go unnoticed. If Lillard was the ship's captain, Turner was the first mate.
He was the guy in the locker room that made sure everyone was focused, yet light-hearted, and kept everything even-keeled. He didn't need to play 40 minutes a night to be happy, he just wanted his team to win. Not everyone is like that.
Again, strictly from an on-court perspective, this is an upgrade for the Blazers. But don't go and act like Turner isn't a one-of-a-kind dude who will be sorely missed in that locker room. On the plus side, we still get this funny dude on social media! THANKS FOR THE LAUGHS. #NamingMyDogET
Where do I start.... pours out adult beverage onto the carpet.
It's been a hell of ride here in Portland. As a content creator and social media addict myself, I can wholeheartedly say that I bow down to the social media KING that is Evan Turner. He busted his ass on the court and was an incredible teammate to both the young guys and the fellow veterans.
However, what I'll remember most about ET is his personality. Get that guy a TV show the minute he retires. Hell, anytime you're back in Portland you have a free invite to come run the show on Blazers Outsiders. There's something to be said about a guy who is literally liked by every single, former, and current teammate he has played with. Attitude, a sense of humor, and overall relatability goes a long way in the NBA.
I guarantee you that ET will get some of the loudest cheers a returning former Trail Blazer has ever gotten in the Moda Center. Keep up those ridiculously amazing fits in Atlanta. See you on the timeline.