Monday, March 29th, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  57 responses

Hedo Turkoglu Benched by Jay Triano

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

Despite the Toronto Raptors being in a tight race with Chicago for the eighth and final Playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, head coach Jay Triano elected to sit a healthy and active Hedo Turkoglu during Toronto’s big game against Miami yesterday.

According to Triano, this was done with the intention of sending a message to Turkoglu. Hedo has been catching major heat in the Toronto press, and reports of him being seen out socially despite missing Friday night’s game due to illness clearly did not sit well with management and his coach.

The Toronto Star reports:

Coach Jay Triano would only say it was his decision to play the entire game without Turkoglu, who’d missed the last game and a half with a stomach virus. “He was active, it was a coach’s decision not to play him,” said Triano after the Raptors blew a 17-point second-half lead.

When asked if the move was intended to send a message to the 31-year-old or if the benching was due to health concerns, the coach said: “Both.” Pressed on what the message was, Triano responded: “Not healthy,” before the post-game media session ended.

Triano was understandably evasive when it came to why he sat his $53-million forward during such a crucial game, and GM Bryant Colangelo would like the matter to be kept in-house as much as possible, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that Turkoglu is quickly wearing out his welcome in the T.Dot.

Oh, and did I mention that this is the first year of Hedo’s massive contract with the Raptors (with Chris Bosh’s impending free agency this summer hanging over everything?) Right. Not exactly good times for Raptors fans.

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  • James aka…

    I don’t think even the worst case scenerios envisioned for him were this bad. He’s fat, lazy and slow. he doesn’t care. I don’t know if i’ve ever seen someone fall off this hard after getting the money. the only guy I can think of was Juwan Howard, but he didn’t stop trying, he just got overpaid.

  • Fat Lever

    When pressed for a response from Hedo, he simply replied, “Ball”.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    This dude is the worst.

  • http://theurbangriot.com/ NUPE

    Hedo chose to play in Toronto because he said it was more of an ‘international’ city. Which translates to me that he was concerned more about going out on-the-town than he was about on-court things. Hedo has talent but only fits into certain types of systems and Toronto clearly was not the best basketall choice for his style of play. I don’t fault him for going for the money or feeling Toronto was a better city for him and his family than Portland (or anywhere else), but I do fault him for his lack-luster play, not being in great shape and now saying he’s sick for an extra day so he can go out.

  • BackInBlack

    he should get traded

  • BackInBlack

    for tayshaun prince

  • Buschfire

    He has a case of “Effortitis” – one who puts no effort into things.

    This can occurr from being highly overpaid. unfortunatley this is contagious, and symptoms can be passed on to other players on the team.

    Remedy: teaching a player a lesson like benching him can give a supposed “wake up call” but doesn’t always work.

  • James aka…

    The raptors are stuck with hedo and will lose bosh. Ah clipperdom.

  • Buschfire

    or Minnesotadom…. we will become them after Bosh leaves, just like what happened to them when Garnett left.

  • http://gmail dirty frank

    Living in Vancouver and still being bitter at the loss of the Grizz and Sonics I love to see the Raps fail. However, I hate to see talent wasted, through injury or lack of effort. Come on Turk. Good on coach for benching him.

  • Logues

    Buschfire: cept the twolves were actually good when they had KG. raps suck

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    Guess what, coach? Hedo doesn’t care cause he’s still getting PAID!
    If we’re losing Bosh this summer, can we trade away Hedo and Jose as well?

  • James aka…

    I think you could convince someone to take jose, but you’d have to take a bad contract back. No one would take hedo. Who wants 20 percent of their cap ruined by that. It would be way easier to move Bargs, flawed though he is. He’s in the middle of a very mediocre career, while hedo decided to go into tank mode 3 years early.

  • Buschfire

    Logues:not good enough to make it deep into the playoffs

  • JoeMaMa

    @dirty frank: your hate is gorgeous. A Torontonian such as myself, was too busy to notice that you guys had a team. I remember something about a large country (or big??) and Stevie Franchise refusing to play in front of pot smoking hippies…but I may’ve dreamt it.
    I kid. I love your city, and cry a little bit each time I see an Oakley jersey.

  • Buschfire

    here’s a great comparison of the 2 teams, Minnesota with and without Garnett, Toronto with and soon to be without Bosh


  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com TADOne

    I guarantee the Blazers organization is happy.

  • TyMo

    That’s what happens in the NBA when you have one good year. You get a huge, long contract and then you can just kick back and relax. That’s why the league is in this financial jam right now.

  • http://myspace.com/heislegend Bryan

    This guy might be the most overrated player in history.

  • T-Money

    Wow. The only one I can remember dogging it this hard was Vince when he wanted to get traded from Toronto. Usually, I think ppl always overreact when they say so and so took the money and then stopped playing hard. It’s hard to dismiss that argument for Hedo.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Eh. Why blame Hedo? Why make him the scapegoat? The Raptors brought him in wanting to turn the team into a copy of last year’s Orlando Magic team, with a star big man complementing Hedo’s point forward skills. PROBLEM: Chris Bosh is a jump shooting power forward and not a 20/20 center like Dwight. AGAIN, the Raptors try and emulate a winning formula and massively fail. Anyone remember when we tried to be “Phoenix North” or whatever a few years back? 10 games in or so and it was scrapped because we were getting fast breaked to death.

  • Buschfire

    lol i thought we still were phoenix north? now we’re Orlando North? next stop Minnesota North.

  • Buschfire

    lol i thought we still were phoenix north? now we’re Orlando North? next stop…. Minnesota North.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Honestly, Raps fans, the last time I found myself a proud, defiant supporter of the Raps was that season we had Mo Pete, Mike James, Joey Graham, Matt Bonner, and the younger Bosh and Calderon. Before all the Euro/finesse/pussycat nonsense. That team lost a lot of games, but it had loads of pride and always gave their all. If you swung at them, they’d swing back (Bonner). Even if they were down 15, which was often, they played like they had nothing to lose, especially James and Bosh. I would gladly trade in the last 4 years of self-deceiving mediocrity and lame duck attempts to imitate PHX/ORL for that one 33-win season.

  • The Philosopher

    Jay Triano just conducted a clinic on how to handle a player who isn’t doing what he is supposed to be doing. He’s not in the media losing his cool. He’s not lying on his soldiers. He’s not telling his soldiers to back down because of who they’re playing against, a la Flip Saunders.

  • Dan

    Swap Hedo for Arenas. They both need quick change, obviously. Perhaps, out of desperation Wizards might be up for this. And we have nothing to lose, too.

  • http://www.Twitter/notebooknick NotebookNick

    I love this move. Almost as much as I hated the “we’re signing Hedo move”.

  • youngmoney

    Bring on my main man Antoine Wright!

  • AL29

    So it turns out that Pizza Pizza commercial is an accurate reflection of how Hedo spends his time. Yes, coach. Just keep benching this LOSER.

  • Buschfire

    Games remaining….

    Mon 29 @ Charlotte
    Wed 31 vs LA Clippers
    Sat 03 @ Philadelphia
    Sun 04 vs Golden State
    Tue 06 @ Cleveland
    Wed 07 vs Boston
    Fri 09 @ Atlanta
    Sun 11 vs Chicago
    Mon 12 @ Detroit
    Wed 14 vs New York

    by my estimations with this schedule it would be nice if we could finish up 6 and 4, most likely its gonna be 5 and 5 though. at least we’ll make it to 40 wins. At this point i don’t care if we make it to the playoffs or not anymore. this whole season has been such a let down.

  • Buschfire

    T dot’s starting lineup should read:

    Jared Jack
    Sonny Weems
    Antoine Wright
    Amir Johnson
    Chris Bosh

  • J-City

    Hands down the worst signing since Jerome James. Hedo is trash, I’d rather have Anthony Parker than him.

  • http://Www.twitter. Darksaber

    @Ben Osborne: so i gather you and Mr. Turkish Jordan don’t see eye to eye? U said it on Twitter earlier, now here. What happened, you got some inside knowledge you can share?

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    @Darksaber: The only personal beef is that I took him too high in my fantasy draft, and he really hurt my season. But beyond that I think he has brought a horrendous attitude with him to Toronto. Read this great piece by Michael Grange for more…
    I love that he calls him “Turkoflu.”

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    Turkeyglue’s reasons for disappearing: “I thought that’s what a missing piece does.”

  • http://Www.twitter. Darksaber

    Great insight, Ben. Thank you for the quick response. Turkoflu eh, wonder if it’s as effective as Tamiflu???

  • http://myspace.com/heislegend Bryan

    Classic case of a guy buying into his own hype. He had 1 and 1/2 good seasons in Orlando at 29 and 30 and all of a sudden he thinks he’s a star.

  • Dan


    Of course, you would rather have Anthony Parker than Hedo. Anthony was classy guy, true professional. He cared and played hard. I must say I was sad, when I heard that Colangelo did not want to bring him back.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Pardeep

    Man I hope the Raps make the playoffs even though they might never mind they WILL get swept by the Cavs. Turkuglu’s averaging like 11 points a game I think he lost his hunger and stopped working in the off season the second he got this massive contract.

  • LA Huey

    The Tim Thomas of Turkey

  • rashado

    i live in toronto and i hope we don’t make the playoffs. let a young hungry team like the bulls get swept so that they learn something from it. d-rose and joakim noah and all them other guys on the bulls have a potentially bright future, they could use a playoff appearance to grow. the raps will get swept and not learn anything or develop at all. it will only give bosh the reason he needs to leave, which he is doing anyways…

  • ab_40

    he do he does he did he can’t be traded this summer because you know no one wants him anymore. he just needs to go bold and we’ve got the next peja stojakovic

  • frank

    Im sure that actually playing hedo would anger him more than benching him. He was smiling and laughing on the bench that whole game.

  • floe

    ef that! everyone’s on hedo’s case but maybe triano has just as much to do behind the situation. he’s an average coach with no clue with what to do with that line up.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Hedo can play, he is trying to get traded wouldn’t you if your best player on the team is being called RuPaul.

  • http://missjia.com meloMan2.0

    Theres only one team that can save us from keeping Hedo… The KNICKS!

  • whalleywhat

    It would’ve been a fixable problem if Colangelo hadn’t signed him to an Isiah Thomas contract.

  • whalleywhat

    The thing is, he wasn’t even GREAT for the Magic. He was just good, a competent piece of a whole. Now he’s an Albatross.

  • vanillagorrila

    Anyone putting all the blame on turkoglu is plain dumb, Colangelo is an awful gm and Triano isn’t anything more than a mediocre coach. Turk is playing a completely different role than last year and its well known he isn’t a great defender, thats why he was fine in orlando. There isn’t a question of talent on the raptor’s roster just poor coaching and cohesiveness.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Vanilla-G I think this has ALOT more to do with Turk than saying coaching is poor and management is poor. Turk isn’t taking over the teams as he has been brought in to do. He wanted to be the man somewhere and get paid like the man. Now, he’s just not playing like it. There is no solid defensive big to fix up his mistakes on D and if his ball handling and play making isn’t effectual than he looks very droll out there. Very droll. I say bench him and see if he gets the point.

  • http://twitter.com/PDXGayBBall dma

    Where are all the critics now that were saying the Magic made a huge mistake in bringing in Vince and letting Hedo walk? That Otis Smith is one wise man.

  • http://myspace.com/weezyleezy337 GametimeWeezy

    i think beginning of the season i said since they signed hedo tdot was gonna blow like Drake….daaaamb i was wrong LOL free bosh

  • vanillagorrila

    This team needs a Doc Rivers type coach and a big man that can inspire bargnani. I think losing Bosh will honestly be a positive for the raps, trade up in the draft and try and get a Cousins or Favors, hopefully trade

  • http://fdjsklf.com Jukai

    hahahaha, the Tim Thomas of Turkey is fantastic and SPOT-ON

  • http://twitter.com/PDXGayBBall dma

    I think Big Baby would look nice as a franchise player in Toronto.

  • Joey E.

    Hedon’t for Maggette

  • Yesse

    Perhaps Hedo was created for Orlando. He put up some good numbers there, but in Toronto he is just playing every next game worse.