Yesterday, Turkish born basketball star, Hedo Turkoglu officially announced his retirement from the game after a fifteen year career in the NBA.
The 36 year old entered the NBA after being drafted sixteenth overall by the Sacramento Kings in 2000. Prior to the NBA, he played for Efes Pilsen in the Turkish League and helped the squad reach the Euroleague Final Four in 2000. Turkoglu would make history by becoming the first Turkish born player to play in the NBA.
With the Kings, Turkoglu was used coming off of the bench and following a three team trade to San Antonio he had the opportunity to gain more playing time, but it was with the Orlando Magic, the team he signed with as a free agent following his fourth year in the NBA, which was where he really blossomed.
In Orlando, Turkoglu would become the full time starting Small Forward in his second season there and in the 2007-08 season he would be named the NBA’s Most Improved Player after posting what would be his career high in Points per Game (19.5), Rebounds per Game (5.7) and PER (17.3). The following season, he helped his team reach the NBA Finals, although the Los Angeles Lakers soundly defeated them.
Turkoglu would later play for the Toronto Raptors, Phoenix Suns, have a second stint with the Orlando and would finish his career with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Internationally, Turkoglu helped Turkey win the Silver Medal in the 2001 European Championship and the Silver Medal in the 2010 FIBA World Championship, which was held in Turkey.
On December 18, the Magic will honor Turkoglu in a special ceremony.
The question we here at Notinhalloffame.com always ask after a retirement is, is that respective player a Hall of Famer, and honestly he isn’t.
With a career PER under 15 and his overall statistical line as a professional doesn’t put him in the conversation. Although the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame recognizes International accomplishments, it isn’t likely that what he did for the Turkish National Team is enough to move the needle that much.
Still, this was a very good career and one that put Turkish basketball on the map and we here at Notinhalloffame.com would like to congratulate Hedo Turkoglu for finishing what has been a fine career, and we wish him the best in the next stage of his life.