In a world where words are spread faster than I can type this sentence, saying anything that can possibly be construed as disparaging will get you in a bit of hot water. So is the story of Evan Turner‘s declaration that he’d rather play the Bulls than the Heat.
From ESPN Chicago‘s Nick Friedell, who I guess had absolutely nothing better to do with his time:
Heading into the final day of the regular season Thursday, the Sixers are on track to face the Bulls in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. That’s a matchup that Turner is looking forward to.
“I think we’ll be able to compete well against Chicago,” Turner told the Times, “and have an opportunity to win the series.”
Turner’s comments were met by a collective shoulder shrug in the Bulls’ locker room Wednesday night.
“Well, all right,” Bulls guard Kyle Korver said. “I’m not going to get into a war of words with Evan Turner. All right, come play us.”
So let’s get the word from the horse’s mouth, since Turner seems so, so bold according to the intrepid reporter. A series of tweets from Turner following the article’s release shows that maybe it wasn’t as insulting to the Bulls as it appeared.
And bulls fans: please stop tweeting me about the playoffs. I didn’t say anything negative. All I said is we match up better with them smh
The heat are a tougher team for us to match up with us if you look at our record vs them the past 2 yrs.
And commenting on Friedell’s article:
(He didn’t mention) me saying that the bulls are obviously the best team in the east. it is what it is.
So here’s how it breaks down. A media member from Chicago hears excerpts of comments made by a player presumably playing against the Chicago team in the playoffs. The Chicago media member, who likely was not in Milwaukee (he likely didn’t watch the game either, as he provided game coverage for Bulls/Pacers for ESPN Chicago), then relays the partial comments to Chicago players, who really don’t care about said comments. And that’s pretty much it.
The reporter, in a quest to do something with those quotes, gets enough to post something online. Because he needs PAGE VIEWZZZ, and stuff. Unfortunately for all of us, he didn’t get Turner’s full comments, which were detailing how a Chicago series is just a better match up, and how the Bulls are the best team in the East. Which is exactly what Turner said above. CSN Philadelphia’s John Finger even confirmed Turner said that during the same post game session. Turner’s quote (from Finger’s Twitter account): “We probably match up better against them even though they are, by far, the best team in the East.”
He’s actually totally respecting the Bulls. But because this quote wasn’t nice and juicy and PAGE VIEWZZZ-y, it wouldn’t make any post game notes. But the one part that they want to play the Bulls? Jackpot! So now the Chicago media member herps and derps and this is what happens. Stupidity.
But since Turner brought it up, let’s look at the comparison. It turns out, in a shocker, that Evan is completely right. 1-2 against Chicago, including two losses within 10 points and a 16 point win.Against Miami, we’re 0-4. The Heat also won all 4 meetings a year ago, and brushed the Sixers aside in 5 games, where the Heat conserved their energy for a good part of the series. The Heat would slay the Sixers in a playoff series. The series would be on the borderline of homicidal.
There is still the possibility for a Sixers-Heat series, though that would rely upon a Knicks loss to Charlotte and a Sixers victory tonight. But in all likelihood, it will be a Bulls-Sixers series. And Turner’s right: we stand more of a chance to compete against Chicago, even though, as Turner said, they have been the best team in the East this season. So where’s the controversy, other than through the manufacturing of this story?