NBA PM: Hedo Turkoglu Explains Suspension
On Wednesday, the NBA announced that Hedo Turkoglu has been suspended 20 games for testing positive for a banned substance. Turkoglu addressed the media earlier today and explained the situation, saying that he didn’t use the substance to improve his performance but rather to recover from a shoulder injury and relieve pain.
Turkoglu took the substance over the offseason in Turkey. He failed the drug test in December and was notified that he had tested positive for the anabolic steroid methenolone last week.
Turkoglu had missed Orlando’s last three games with flu-like symptoms and a sore back, but Magic general manager Rob Hennigan insisted that the ailments were real and Turkoglu’s benching had no connection with the failed drug test.
The last player to fail a drug test for steroids was Rashard Lewis in 2009. Lewis, who was also with the Magic at the time of his suspension, received a 10-game suspension after testing positive for DHEA, a steroid precursor that elevates testosterone.
Turkoglu wouldn’t give specifics, including how often he took the substance. The only details that Turkoglu would provide was that the substance was in pill form and served as a “pain killer.”
Many people look at Turkoglu’s awful season and wonder how he of all players failed a steroids test. This season, Turkoglu averaging just 2.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 17.2 minutes. Turkoglu made it clear that the substance he took wasn’t a performance enhancing drug, just a pill that speeds up recovery and relieves pain. He said that’s why he didn’t return to Orlando “jacked up,” “flying out of the roof,” and “dunking on everybody.”
The suspension is just the latest issue with Turkoglu. He said that this year has been a nightmare and one of the worst of his career because he has had so many injuries and issues to deal with. All of these issues may mean that Turkoglu’s days in Orlando are numbered. Hennigan said that he expects Turkoglu to resume playing after the 20-game suspension comes to an end, but he wouldn’t say that Turkoglu would be on the roster next season. Only $6 million of Turkoglu’s $12 million 2013-14 salary is guaranteed. Couple that with the fact that Turkoglu isn’t in Orlando’s long-term plan and it doesn’t look good for the veteran forward.
“I think we’re going to get through this step and then we’ll worry about the summer when the summer comes,” Hennigan said of Turkoglu’s future. “Contracts are what they are and we’ll get to make decisions about a lot of things over the summer and certainly Hedo’s situation will be one of them. We’re not able to comment now on what that decision will be.”
Turkoglu was extremely apologetic and regrets making this mistake.
“As a player, this is the worst situation that you can be in,” Turkoglu said. “I just want to start [by saying] I’m sorry. I apologize to the DeVos family, the Magic organization, my teammates and, most importantly, my fans here and all around the world. This is a situation that I never wanted to be in. I’m sorry to be in this situation and I really apologize to put the organization in this situation. I’m really sorry for everything that happened.
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2013 NBA All-Star By the Numbers
- 3 — Houston has hosted three NBA All-Star Games (1989, 2006, 2013).
- 119 — NBA All-Star 2013 rosters have a combined total of 119 All-Star appearances (East – 55, West – 64).
- 25 x 58 — Toyota Center’s Panasonic scoreboard features the largest combined viewing area of any indoor center-hung scoreboard currently used in the U.S., with four large screens—two rectangular-shaped (25’ high by 58’ wide ) and a pair of square-shaped screens (measuring approx. 25’ high by 25’ wide).
- 29 — NBA All-Star 2013 performers have won a combined total of 29 Grammy Awards (Alicia Keys – 14, John Legend – 9, Ne-Yo -3, Ludacris – 3).
NBA Players and Legends
- 1,591,437 and 15 – The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant was the leading vote-getter in the NBA All-Star Balloting program presented by Sprint, with 1,591,437 votes. Bryant earned a record 15th consecutive All-Star nod, breaking a tie shared by Jerry West, Karl Malone and Shaquille O’Neal.
- 9 — Nine international players participating in NBA All-Star 2013 – Kyrie Irving (Australia), Tony Parker (France), Luol Deng (Great Britain), Tim Duncan (U.S. Virgin Islands), Tristan Thompson (Canada), Nikola Vucevic (Montenegro), Alexey Shved (Russia), Ricky Rubio (Spain), Andrew Nicholson (Canada).
- 7 — Seven first-time All-Stars, the most since 2005 – Tyson Chandler (NYK), Paul George (IND), Jrue Holiday (PHI), Kyrie Irving (CLE), Joakim Noah (CHI), Brook Lopez (BKN), James Harden (HOU).
All-Star Global Reach
- 215 — All-Star events will be broadcast in 215 countries and territories and in 47 languages.
- 1,800 — More than 1,800 media will cover events, including 312 international reporters from 46 countries and territories.
NBA on TNT
- 11 and 28 — Eleventh consecutive year the All-Star Game will be shown in prime time on TNT, and 28th season Turner Sports has provided All-Star coverage.
- 42 — Turner Sports will use 42 HD cameras, 4 jib cameras and 30 effects microphones.
- 140 — NBA TV and NBA.com will air more than 140 hours of All-Star coverage.
- 49 — TNT and NBA TV analysts were selected All-Stars a combined 49 times during their careers (Charles Barkley – 11, Shaquille O’Neal – 15, Reggie Miller – 5, Chris Webber – 5, Steve Smith – 1, Isiah Thomas – 12).
- 2.2 Billion — More than 2.2 billion videos have been viewed by fans this season on NBA.com.
NBA Social Media
- 368 Million — 368 million followers and likes combined across all league, team, and player pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Sina, and Tencent that will have access to All-Star.
- 3,000 — NBA Cares All-Star Community Caravan efforts include five days of hands-on community service featuring more than 30 projects and activities led by more than 3,000 NBA family members, partners and volunteers.
NBA All-Star Jam Session
- 500,000 — Jam Session boasts over 500,000 square feet and more than 40 attractions.
- 150 — Jam Session will feature 150 appearances by NBA and WNBA players, legends and coaches.