One-time super-agent David Falk has been conspicuous in his presence around the 76ers locker room in recent days, but don’t read too much into this.
Falk, who has represented Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson in the past, just represents a few players these days, and two of them, Elton Brand and Evan Turner, happen to be Sixers.
With Turner struggling and his minutes on the wan over the last month, there was speculation that Falk – who takes up residence in suburban Washington – was in town to attempt to do a little arm-twisting with coach Doug Collins to get Turner more time and perhaps in the starting lineup.
However, a battle royal between Falk and Collins over Turner’s minutes never occurred, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. Falk and Collins actually have a very cordial relationship that developed when Collins coached Jordan during his stint as the coach of the Washington Wizards.
I caught up with Falk on Thursday and he said that he came to Philly to meet with Brand and Turner, whom he met with following the team’s loss to Oklahoma City on Wednesday. Falk insisted that he did not try to coerce Collins at all.
“The only thing is that now they have lost six of their last seven games and now it might be time to reevaluate the way they are doing some things,” Falk said. “They are really having a hard time scoring the basketball.”
There is growing contingent of fans that want to see Turner, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 draft, get more minutes in order to find out whether or not he is the real deal or a mistake. If Turner does not work out, it could turn into a catastrophic mistake for the franchise, perhaps on the same level as the horrific 1993 draft that saw the Sixers select mega-bust Shawn Bradley with the second overall pick.
We all know how that worked out.
Early on, when things were going well, Turner looked fine in his role coming off the bench with Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young as the Sixers began the season 20-9. But the team’s recent slump, their inability to score and with Jodie Meeks giving them little if anything in the starting shooting guard position, the question as to why a player drafted so high not only can’t crack the starting lineup but sees his minutes reduced resonates as a problem.
Turner has seen his minutes-per-game fall from the low- to mid-twenties early on to where they are now. Over the last 10 games he has averaged a tad less than 20 minutes per game. In this stretch he’s averaged just 4.9 points and made just .290 percent of his field goals.
Meanwhile, Turner says he has done all that he can do to break into the starting lineup and is willing to let the chips fall where they may moving forward.
“It’s not a negotiation,” Turner said. “I did everything I possibly could over the summer to try to get into the lineup but it hasn’t happened. So you don’t even worry about it anymore. Why argue about it?
It’s about the team and it’s not about me. I’m sure there’s a whole group of people who want to start and stuff but you just try to fulfill your role and do what’s best,” Turner said.