Few Orlando Magic players endeared themselves to the team's fans as Hedo Turkoglu did during the 2007/08 ad 2008/09 campaigns, when he emerged as the Magic's go-to perimeter scorer and clutch shooter. Turk won the Most Improved Player award in 2008 and was arguably the most egregious snub from the All-Star team that year. He regressed to just about average last season, but made up for it with some timely buckets.
But now, in his first season with the Toronto Raptors, Turk's flamed out. Three must-read stories about his disappointing season surfaced yesterday: this one from beat writer Michael Grange, this one from Raptors fan Eric Wagman, and this one from Yahoo! NBA blogger Kelly Dwyer. None of these guys mince their words in condemning his work ethic and attitude, concerns which came to a head over the weekend when some fans spotted Turk partying in a nightclub a few hours after leaving a game at halftime due to an injury.
As someone whose email box occasionally contains tips about Turk's party habits, I can't say that his nightlife surprises me. But the poor attitude? The mailing-in of a season? Doesn't seem like Turk to me. I'm happy that he had a productive career with Orlando, and utterly disappointed that he seems content to play out the string on a bloated contract for a middling team that can't do much to improve due to, in part, Turk's monster deal. I'm not faulting the guy for cashing in--that'd be hypocritical, frankly--but dude really ought to try harder.
What do you think? Would these problems have arisen if the Magic decided to retain him? Are you surprised at his behavior? How do these developments affect your perception of / esteem for his Magic career, if at all? To what extent was Turkoglu's success in the last two seasons due to coach Stan Van Gundy's system?