It appears as though new Phoenix Suns forward Hedo Turkoglu hasn’t forgotten about how much he disliked playing for the Toronto Raptors. In a recent interview, Turkoglu had some choice words for Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo.
“People have to realize something is wrong with that organization and nobody wants to go there anymore,” Turkoglu said in a phone interview. “It’s not just the players who see this.”
The Turkish star’s reaction was in large part due to Colangelo blasting former Raptors forward Chris Bosh. While speaking with reporters last week, Colangelo made headlines by saying that he believed Bosh “checked out” when the Raptors were still contending for the eighth and final playoff seed with the Chicago Bulls. During the most critical point of the season, Bosh, who later left the Raptors to join LeBron James and Dwyane Wade on the Miami Heat, missed six games after the all-star break.
"Despite limited swelling and any excessive damage on an MRI, he felt like he needed to sit,” Colangelo told a Toronto radio station. “I'm not even questioning Chris' injury. I'm telling you he was cleared to play subject to tolerance on his part, and the tolerance just apparently wasn't there and he chose not to play.
"Whether he was mentally checked out or just wasn't quite into it down the stretch, he wasn't the same guy. I think everybody saw that, but no one wanted to acknowledge it."
Turkoglu didn’t like his former GM’s comments.
“It’s funny that people will talk behind your back,” Turkoglu said of Colangelo. “If he was feeling this way, why not have the guts to say it during the season? Why not say it to Chris? Now that Chris has left, it’s not nice to say those things.
“Chris has been a franchise player and he did a lot of good things for the Raptors,” Turkoglu added. “I don’t think Chris is the type of player to quit on his teammates.”
Of course, Turkoglu doesn’t exactly have much credibility when it comes to speaking about “giving your all” to a franchise. During his one and only season with the Raptors last year, he answered accusations about being unmotivated and lazy by missing a game due to “being sick” -- only to be seen later that night at a nightclub.
During the offseason, Turkoglu was shipped off to the Suns. However, the former all-star never shouldered the responsibility for things not working out in Toronto. Instead, he blamed it on improper team chemistry and the team not utilizing him effectively.
When told of Turkoglu’s comments, Colangelo opted to go the honorable route by not say anything disparaging about his former player.
“I still consider Hedo a friend in this business and wish him well again in Phoenix.”