Like so many times before, Evan Turner was in a Wells Fargo Center locker room on Friday evening, getting ready for an NBA game. But, unlike all the past occurrences, this time he wasn’t slipping on a Sixers shirt.
Friday night’s game against Indiana represented Turner’s return to Philadelphia; a city that had high hopes for him that never quite materialized.
Turner was traded to Indiana for a cheeseburger and a Coke second round pick on February 20th in a move that signaled the end of an era that never quite got started.
Despite the hostility that he often faced from the Philadelphia faithful, and the city’s collective exuberance that their former second overall pick was traded for anything, Turner swears he holds no animosity towards the city, or the Sixers.
“I can’t say it enough, no animosity, no negativity,” Turner stated on Friday afternoon, adding that he didn’t necessarily expect to stay.
“When the ownership, GM, and president that drafted me left, I didn’t expect much beyond that.”
Despite his struggles with the Sixers, Turner insists that he enjoyed the opportunity.
“I am thankful for playing here and having an opportunity to play this year.”
After months of speculation about when and if he would be traded, Turner admitted that he was relieved to at least have an opportunity to play in the playoffs this season.
“I was relieved in a sense because I could have been traded to a situation similar to [the Sixers], but now I will have an opportunity to play in the playoffs.”
After leading the Sixers in scoring during his time with the team this season, Turner has averaged only 22 minutes and 9 points per as a Pacer.