Myles Turner’s maturity level is well above the typical 21-year-old kid, and soon he’ll have a lot more responsibility to the Indiana Pacers organization than most players his age will ever have to their own.
The Pacers couldn’t ask for someone better to take it all on.
“Without a doubt,” Turner told Alex Kennedy on his HoopsHype podcast when asked if he’s ready to become the face of the Pacers franchise. “… I feel like I’m ready to take on more. I want to become a leader. Why not start early?”
With Paul George essentially giving his 2-weeks notice when he had his agent tell the team he doesn’t plan on signing an extension and is off to Los Angeles in 2018, the Pacers have to feel fortunate to be able to immediately start building their franchise around a player with the potential and professionalism of Turner.
“Be a leader,” Turner told Kennedy when asked about his individual goals for next season.
Turner, who averaged 14.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, seems acutely aware of the George-sized void that will soon leave the organization and need filled.
When asked about his reaction to Larry Bird saying he could potentially become the greatest Pacers player ever during last season, Turner said, “After the initial shock, you start to believe it. When you have someone who is so confident in you and an organization that is so confident in your abilities and your future, it only motivates you to keep working and work harder and get better everyday.”
As for what Turner wants to improve on with all of his hard work, he said “all aspects of his game,” but specifically mentioned facing up in the mid post, improving his 3-point shot further, and defending the pick and roll. In other interviews this offseason, he’s said his focus is getting stronger and working on his post game.
Turner’s reaction to the news that George would be leaving: “Alright, well, what’s next? We have to start rebuilding and look at what we can do for our future. That was my initial thought.”
Turner’s love for the organization and for the state of Indiana, where he’s embraced the community since his rookie season with his WARM initiative, were evident in the podcast as he talked for a couple of minutes about his favorite things in Indiana including the food, the summer weather and how great of a sports town Indianapolis is. He had very high praise for the Simons, is excited for the Pacers new practice facility and called the Pacers a “Grade-A organization.”
In these dark times when the star player of the team decides he no longer wants to be a part of the organization that drafted him, Pacers fans are eager to start the era of the future face of the Pacers, someone that wants to be in Indiana: Myles Turner.