Monday, March 15th, 2010 at 10:30 am  |  28 responses

Nicolas Batum’s ‘Vendetta’ Against Hedo Turkoglu

Vendetta is too strong a word, perhaps, but Nicolas definitely has a chip on his shoulder when he goes up against Hedo: “When Batum went out and put up 22 points on 7-of-9 shooting, one might have thought the Frenchman wanted to show the front office and fans that he was and is the better option as Portland’s small forward. But it turns out that, while Batum did have Hedo on his mind, it wasn’t for the reasons previously mentioned. It goes back farther than that. It was November 10, 2008, Batum’s seventh game in the NBA. The Trail Blazers were taking on the Magic in Orlando. Portland ended up winning the game 106-99 thanks in part to a 27-point night from Brandon Roy. But even though the Blazers got the win, Batum felt like Turkolgu, who scored 35 points in 42 minutes, got the best of him. For Batum, a player who relishes the task of shutting down opposing players on the offensive end, this was unacceptable. ‘I got something special with Hedo because that’s the first guy who kicked my ass last year,’ said Batum. ‘You can’t do that again. I play against him in the summer too, France and Turkey. Boris (Diaw) wants to guard him, I say ‘No no, I got it. I got it.’ Batum most definitely got it tonight. Turkoglu ended up with a decent night’s work, scoring 14 points, on 5-of-7 shooting, but he was thoroughly outplayed by the guy who might have very well have been his backup this season.”

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  • http://theghostofroyhobbs.blogspot.com Mo Charlo


  • Chris

    Batum’s a beast…all star in the next 3-4 years

  • The D Train

    You are not far off, Chris. I would say next to Roy and Aldridge, his the most untouchable Blazer. He is fast becoming my second favorite Blazer. Cat can shoot and is crazy long…I think he’s got something like 7’5 wingspan. It feels like he’s going to be something really special after watching how he is progressing in his half-season this year.

  • The D Train

    “he is the most untouchable Blazer”

  • The D Train

    57% FG, 47% Threes, 90% FT…those are some serious Nash-esque numbers for anyone, let alone a second-year 6’8 SF. Seriously, do not sleep on this dude.

  • http://Www.twitter.com Darksaber

    (careful, the following might contain nerdjuice) “Vendetta….VENDETTA…., VENDETTAAAA….” Ah that word reminds me of the simpsons episode where they go to Italy and discover sideshow has a family, incl. a son who kept screaming the V-Word throughout the episode. Fantastic.

  • LA Huey

    Batum and Pietrus. Me likes these Frenchmen. They make up for the embarassment that is Diaw.

  • J-City

    Trust me since Hedo got to the Raptors it doesn’t take much to ‘shut him down’. He’ll do that on his own.

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    Steve Nash has an anti-vendetta against defense.

  • -Mas-

    I just wasted 2 minutes of my life!

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ Double R

    Darksaber beat me to it

  • Sporting-Lisbon-Blazers

    tough sh1t -Mas-!! NicBatum is awsome! glad the Hedo offer didnt work out, he´d be taking minutes from batum´s development…sorry for the Hedo contract Raps fans!

  • http://slamonline.com JL

    he’s got potential to be Durantula light. with better D

  • http://sevendeu2u.wordpress.com/ Seven Duece

    aww man, i wanted it to be some type of trash talk thing. oh well, at least he has a goal.

  • ab_40

    Oden, ALdridge, Batum, Roy and Miller. with rudy, pryzbilla, webster and the pg with the big head rounding up the 9 man rotation… portland is gonna be a beast next season.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    This reminds me of the episode of the Simpsons where Sideshow Bob’s son was screaming “Vendetta” over and over, tried to stab a butterfly, then tripped over a rock and fell or something like that..

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    You just stole Darksaber’s reference!!!

  • Sparty’s Law

    Hedo does not care about this vendetta, just like he does not care about playing quality basketball more than once every 15 or so games.

  • http://missjia.com JrSwishh

    vandetta vandetta!!! but seriously, turkalou is not worth having a vandetta with

  • vanillagorrila

    Batum definitely has a high ceiling and will most likely be a blazer for long time, Webster on the other hand probably wont settle for his inevitable 8-10 minutes per game rotation next season and will be dealt somewhere on draft day in one of Pritchard’s slick moves. It will be interesting to see what happens as far as stabilizing the pf/c position this off season. If pryz decides to be a great guy and opt out of his player option in addition to the horrible darius miles contract finally coming off the books plus camby’s deal the blazers should around 10-11 mil to work with for a fa or sign and trade.

  • http://fdksjlf.com Jukai

    It seems, according to slam commentators, everyone has the potential to be an all-star. Second team all-defense is Batum’s ceiling.

  • The D Train

    Just curious, Jukai…how many games have you seen Batum this season? Not pissing on your call here, but I am curious if you’ve watched him that often this season. He seems to have progressed quite a bit since his rookie year, and that’s with most of the first-half off because of his shoulder. I’m not sure that you can definitively state that second-team all-defense is his ceiling at this point. The dude is young, long and is shooting crazy percentages. He might not be the most skilled ball-handler, but with Roy and Aldridge on the squad, he might be a nice secondary weapon that puts up nice numbers and sneaks onto an all-star squadron or two over the next few years. Seriously, look at the shooting percentages Nic is at so far this season. As I mentioned above, they are not too shabby for a second year SF who is not known as a shooter.

  • wilz

    i would *crap* myself if hedo scored that many points ever again

  • http://slamonline.com d.j.

    as long we got some simpsons references on slam site im a happy dude… slam + simpsons = awesome…

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    If Batum doesn’t crack an All-Star team one day, I owe you a virtual dollar, Jukai.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Yeah I just said virtual dollar. Shut up.

  • http://twitter.com/PDXGayBBall dma

    Batum is nice. He’s vital to Blazers. All they need is a HEALTHY starting CENTER. and a solid bruising big off the bench and a real backup PG>

  • therighttoremainsalient

    If your going to have Brandon Roy and Perhaps LeMarcus Aldridge on any given allstar team, over the coming 3-4 yrs. I don’t see how Batum, as a third string on offense at best could put up decent enough numbers to crack an allstar lineup. He is in a conference, where Carmelo, Dirk, Durant,Gasol will be holding down the allstar ballots, add to that players the likes of Caron Butler Marcus THornton and that rookie from the clippers that we are waiting all to see…there isn’t going to be that many SG/sf spots to go round -he’s not a star in the making. he’s a very good, versatile player who is not afraid to get in mess it up with the Kobes of the nba world… and the hedo’s… he wont make an allstar team. i mean… ariza is playing better than he is and he wont be making allstar weekend?!