Sixers Turner still loves his hometown
Philadelphia 76ers forward Evan Turner, center, shoots against Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) and forward Luol Deng during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012.
Playing at the United Center in the playoffs last spring was a dream come true for Philadelphia forward and Chicago native Evan Turner.
So he wasn't about to let a few boos ruin the experience. Turner had a bout of unpopularity after saying late in the season the Sixers would be better off finishing No. 8 in the East and playing the Bulls instead of matching up against Miami.
Good call, by the way. The Sixers became the fifth No. 8 seed to knock off a No. 1, beating the Bulls in six games after Derrick Rose went down with a torn ACL in the series opener and Joakim Noah missed the last three contests with a sprained ankle.
"I wasn't going to let booing or people getting mad at 'he said, she said' nonsense ruin my opportunity and ruin my fun," Turner said before Saturday's rematch. "So it was all about the positive. I focused on the positive, not the negative."
Turner has no hard feelings toward his hometown, either.
"I love Chicago. I love the pizza, love the chicken, love the popcorn — all that stuff," he said. "I always tell people it's the best city in the world. I love it."
Busing through the snow:
Evan Turner grew up in the city and attended St. Joseph High School in Westchester, which involved a one-hour commute via public transportation each way.
"I'd take the bus every day to St. Joe's," he said. "(The duration) would depend on the weather. Chicago snows and everything. My luck, my whole four years we had the worst winters. That's how it goes."
Turner tried to remember that Isiah Thomas made a similar trek through his high school years.
"No lie. That's what my high school coach would tell me, 'Just keep working at it. You'll have an opportunity to take care of your family and make money playing basketball,'" he said. "But wearing dress shoes in 10 inches of snow wasn't the most fun."
Collins is restless:
Sixers coach Doug Collins had a joke ready when asked about the fine levied on the San Antonio Spurs when coach Gregg Popovich sent four key players home to rest instead of playing against Miami on Thursday.
"Well, I get one hour of sleep a night. That's if I'm lucky," Collins said. "The one thing, I never try to coach some other team. We try to give our guys as much rest as possible."
Joakim Noah and Evan Turner were given technical fouls in the final minute of the first half of the Bulls' victory over Philadelphia on Saturday. The two started jawing not long after Turner scored on a tough fadeaway over Noah. … Philadelphia guard Nick Young missed Saturday's game with a hyperextended left big toe.
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