July 9th, 2009: One of the happiest days of my life.
Hedo Turkoglu was now a member of the Toronto Raptors. Everything seemed swell in Raptorland. After all, Turkoglu was a major reason why the Magic made the finals in 2009, and his impressive season would only carry over to Toronto, right? The Raptors would now become a major force in the Eastern Conference. 5 years, $53M? So what? No defense and all offense? I don't care. I mean, it's Hedo Turkoglu. Hedo quickly embraced the fans, organization and city, claiming he "loved Toronto because of its diversity". We loved him, he loved us.
July 14, 2010: The best day ever.
Hedo Turkoglu was now a member of the Phoenix Suns. Hedo's annoying, don't give a damn tactics are now out of Toronto and are left for someone else to deal with. Hedo Turkgolu didn't live up to expectations at all, and actually made Raptor fans cringe every time he got the ball. Sure, we knew the mask refusing, "ball" saying, cap busting, no effort, skip game then go to club the same night Hedo, but Raptor fans unforuntetly never got to see the Hedo everyone around the NBA got to know back in his Orlando days. That Hedo never showed up. The sad thing is, he made $10M for doing absolutely nothing other then cause embarrasement and humilation to a team that wasn't in that good of shape in the first place. Blame Bryan Colangelo all you want for the terrible signing, but at the end of the day, Hedo was a big reason why the Raptors didn't make the playoffs. He didn't care. He didn't even like us. He skipped a game because of a "stomach virus", but was spotted clubbing later that night, then had the nerve to he wanted to leave the team because he got benched for the incident. What a joke. Hedo Turkoglu went from being one of the most loved athletes in the city, to the most hated in less then a year. I'm not sure what I find more funny--the fact that Hedo failed to live up to every expectation placed on him, or the fact that the Phoenix Suns are willing to take on his massive contract. Good luck, Phoenix.
Keep in mind...this is the same person who raved about Hedo one year ago. I fell immediately in love with the guy. I believed he'd make the Raptors a serious contender in the East, and fill a gaping hole in the frontcourt. It turns out, he didn't do that. He made every Raptor fan including myself, look dumb.
On that note, so long Hedo. Take your annoying tactics and get as far possible away from Candada as possible. I guess Phoenix, Arizona is far enough.