Is Pau Gasol tougher than Hedo Turkoglu?

For a long time, Pau Gasol was described as “soft.” It’s a word we heard a lot after the Lakers fell to Boston in the 2008 NBA Finals, when Pau was pushed around by Kevin Garnett and the rest of Boston’s frontcourt. I never bought that crap in the first place, but if Gasol was soft, what do we call Hedo Turkoglu?

Let’s see – Turkoglu signed a huge deal with the Toronto Raptors this summer. Now, he’s sitting out most (all??) of the pre-season after missing training camp. We heard rumblings of quad tendinitis, but for the most part, it’s described as fatigue.

Seriously, fatigue?

Yes, Turkoglu played in the NBA Finals last season, meaning he was on the court until the middle of June. Then, he represented Turkey at EuroBasket, playing about two weeks of basketball in Poland. It’s certainly understandable that he’d be tired, but how is that still a factor? Shouldn’t Hedo Turkoglu, who makes millions and millions of dollars to play basketball, be in shape? It seems especially bad after signing a lucrative contract with a new team.

Some might argue that it’s just training camp and pre-season. That it won’t matter as long as Hedo’s healthy for the start of the season. I’d say that with nine new faces, along with new offensive and defensive schemes, it’s plenty important. In fact, it’s borderline inexcusable.

Here’s another thing – Pau Gasol also played in the NBA Finals. He also played in EuroBasket (more, in fact).

AND HE’S PLAYING RIGHT NOW!

So why is Hedo so tired if Gasol isn’t? I thought of age first, but Turkoglu is 30 while Pau is 29. Maybe, as it was suggested to me, Turkgolu spent very little time working out this summer, between negotiating with teams and moving his family. Fine, but if that’s the case, he shouldn’t have played in EuroBasket. Or, he’s just soft.

I haven’t heard an explanation for this that makes sense. Nobody else seems to understand it any more than I do. All I know is that Hedo’s getting a pass from the local media, who should be asking more questions about this situation. As an outsider looking in, I think it’s ridiculous. Let’s just say it’s a pretty unimpressive start to a five-year stay in Toronto.

And again, why isn’t Pau tired? If he’s considered soft, Turkoglu is baby food.

-DL

Note: Michael Grange is thinking along the same lines. From his blog:

“I wrote about it in the paper today, but the whole Turkoglu thing is officially seeming strange to me. How long does a 30-year-old professional athlete need to recover? It’s basketball, not the Tour de France or ultra-marathoning. The NBA Finals were over June 14th. The European championships were held from Sept. 7-20. Turkey played nine 40-minute games. I accept the notion that missing the first week of training camp — giving Turkoglu two weeks after the end of Eurobasket made some sense. But last night Turkoglu was talking vaguely about suiting up in a week from now, which would give him nearly a month off. It takes a month to recover? Really? Isn’t part of the reason you’re paid $10.5-million as a professional athlete to make sure you’re prepared for the rigours of your job?”

Exactly.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 8
  • comment-avatar
    charlie brown12 years ago

    hido played this year
    101 nba games
    3 pre game euro in england
    5 pre game euro in turkey
    8 euro games in poland
    total 117 games …. it is not easy to handle in versatile position

  • comment-avatar

    Was looking for the piece which Grange wrote about this but can’t seem to find it anywhere on-line right now.

    Any chance you can point the way with a working link?

    Thanks, in advance. πŸ™‚

  • comment-avatar

    Khandor,

    Done…check the blog.

    Actually, just in case, here… http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/from-deep/that-was-some-ugly/article1316813/

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    I don’t think it’s a measure of toughness … but a measure of each player’s athleticism and work ethic, particularly the work ethic, and I think Pau Gasol is superior in both areas.

  • comment-avatar

    Dan,

    Thanks. Must have missed that when I looked quickly earlier today.

  • comment-avatar

    […] uncredited post posted at TorontoSportsMedia.com asks, β€œIs Pau Gasol tougher the Hedo Tukoglu?” Well, is he? (Actually, Turkoglu does kinda get the short shrift in the piece and one gets the […]

  • comment-avatar

    in fact Pau Gasol is not playing either.. he did not play yesterday, and the day before, the game before that.. And Hedo has started to play.. And what is the purpose of playing in those games if you are targeting playoffs and you should be ready in April.

  • comment-avatar

    good jordan kobe LeBron Garnett Pau Gasol