Turkoglu Still the Best Turk

Philip Maymin
Basketball News Services 

Both of Turkey's bright young stars signed six-year agreements this summer. Hedo Turkoglu will earn a total of $40 million from the Magic. Mehmet Okur will earn 25% more for a total of $50 million from the Jazz. Yet in Turkey's matchup with New Zealand two nights ago, it was the cheaper Turkoglu who was named "man of the match" after hitting a key three-pointer followed by an even more pivotal three-point play.

Turkoglu was the NBA's first Turkish-born player in history but he is no dinosaur. Okur is just ten weeks younger, though he will be earning $10 million more. Both players are listed as forwards, though Okur is more of a 4/5 while Turkoglu is more of a 3/4. Size matters. Okur is one inch taller. At $20,325 a game in extra salary, assuming Okur plays all 82, that's one expensive inch.

Meanwhile, Magic fans can sit back and realize that they (a) got a good deal on (b) a great forward who is (c) still Turkey's best player.

The Magic have released the complete 2004-2005 regular season schedule.

The Contra Costa Times notes: Drew Gooden, former Orlando Magic (now Cleveland Cavaliers) player and former El Cerrito High School All-American, will be holding a camp for boys and girls ages 7-14 Aug. 9-13 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Albany High School. Campers will receive T-shirt, customized ball and picture with Gooden. Proceeds benefit Scholar Athletes, Inc. 510-223-5518, drewgoodencamp@yahoo.com or www.drewgooden.net.

Tim Povtak ofThe Orlando Sentinel notes: [Shaquille] O'Neal, who is spending much of his summer in Central Florida, will put on the boxing gloves and climb into the ring against Antonio Tarver, the light heavyweight world champion, at Universal Studios on Aug. 6. It's the main event in a charity fund-raiser titled: Shaq's Mama Said Knock You Out. It benefits the Odessa Chambliss Quality of Life Fund, which provides a scholarship fund for individuals seeking careers in nursing. Tickets for the event are $125. For more information, call 813-286-8300.


The Otago Daily Timeswrites: A New Zealand win appeared likely after a Mark Dickel three-pointer gave it a five point advantage with a 74sec remaining.However, Orlando Magic National Basketball Association player Hedo Turkoglu had the final say.His three-pointer put Turkey back in the game and he bagged two points and a free throw after Dillon Boucher's foul to steal the win. Turkoglu finished with a game high 22 points, while for New Zealand Kirk Penney scored 21 points and Dickel 10.

The Turkish Presswrites: The Turkish National Basketball team just about edged out Olympic games participants New Zealand 70-69 on Wednesday evening in the second successive friendly game between the sides. Full time had ended 60-60. In extra time Turkish power forward Hidayet Turkoglu inspired Turkey to snatch a 70-69 win over the visiting team. Hido Turkoglu, who will play for Orlando Magic this coming season, notched up 24 points to be voted man of the match.Mehmet Okur added 17 points for Turkey.

Mike Kahn ofCBS/SportsLinewrites: Orlando Magic: John Weisbrod has proved he's not afraid to make deals, which bumps him beyond plenty of others.They not only drafted high school kid Dwight Howard and dealt a future pick for the rights to Jameer Nelson, they acquired Steve Francis, Cuttino Mobley and Kelvin Cato from Houston, Tony Battie from Cleveland as well as Hedo Turkoglu, Stacey Augmon and Michael Bradley. And if Grant Hill returns? Grade: B

WFTV.comwrites: You're told you can only water two times a week. Break the rules, and you could be fined. But there are some Central Floridians using up to 20 times more water than the average household. Fifteen thousand gallons a month is enough water for a family of four to do pretty much anything it needs, even sprinkle the lawn. Now, imagine using over 200,000 gallons of water a month. According to the Orlando Utilities Commission, residents in the city's upscale, gated communities like lush lawns... A few of the names you may recognize. Creed's on-again, off-again frontman Scott Stapp is in the top 25, as is former Orlando Magic star Nick Anderson. They both average around 131,000 gallons of water a month.