Some dunks are most remarkable for their sheer ferocity, and Indiana Pacers’ center Myles Turner’s effort Wednesday night would certainly qualify there. Against the New Orleans Pelicans, Turner drove the lane and threw down an incredible one-handed dunk:
Myles Turner bang time. Goodness. pic.twitter.com/CD7DptaUHD
— Cleveland Wobaliers (@World_Wide_Wob) March 22, 2018
The timing here is particularly interesting, as it comes in the same week where Turner said he was inspired to play tougher by a teammate calling him soft:
Myles Turner recently stated that an anonymous teammate called him soft earlier in the season, but he would not reveal who it was.
“One of my teammates called me soft,” said Turner. [Victor] Oladipo, in the background during the interaction, disagreed and engaged Turner from across the locker room. “Who called you soft?” said Victor. “Not you, bro” was Turner’s reply.
Regardless of who called Turner soft, he’s certainly been playing well lately. Turner, in his third season in the NBA (all with the Pacers, who drafted him 11th overall out of Texas in 2015), is averaging 13.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game on the year, and his per-100 possession numbers are even better (24.1 points and 12.0 rebounds, both career-highs). He’s been on a nice run this month as well, notching 24- (vs. Utah), 25- (vs. Philadelphia) and 21- (vs. the Lakers) point games. Oh, and he has quite the life off the court, especially when it comes to Star Wars, LEGO and those two things combined:
Turner has assembled myriad tiny brick figures dating back to his childhood, when the Pacers center once fashioned a Legos miniature NBA court. The replica was complete with players whose feet were fastened to a platform, which aspiring professionals such as Turner could flick in order to launch the game’s tiny ball towards the hoop. His parents, David and Mary, barred Turner from playing video games until he departed for his lone year at Texas. “So I had to find ways to entertain myself,” Turner said. “I was always putting s— together.”
…Amid the fall previews for [Star Wars: The Last Jedi], Turner came across an advertisement for a giant Lego model of the Death Star on Twitter. “I was like damn, that would be dope as hell,” Turner says. “If I’m not doing anything, let me put this thing together. And then the Death Star led to Millennium Falcon, Millenium Falcon led to Star Destroyers.” Turner caught Star Wars Lego fever. “I went by Toys ‘R’ Us and legit went on a spree and bought a whole bunch.”
The Death Star is comprised of 4,016 pieces and 23 minifigures, stretching 16 inches high and wide and retailing at $499.99. He built the entire 2,000-piece Star Destroyer over seven-straight hours in mid-December. “I was really bored. We had the day off,” Turner says. “It was cold as shit outside, so I was like, ‘You know what? Let me put one of these things together today.’” He ordered takeout, blasted music and beamed NBA and college basketball games all afternoon and into the evening.
Don’t make fun of him for that, though, NBA players. You might be the next one dunked on.
[Rob Perez on Twitter]