The Evster: the sad, sad, sad truth behind Evan Turner's sad story

The Evster: the sad, sad, sad truth behind Evan Turner's sad story

I feel bad for Evan Turner.

I know, I know, that's ridiculous. The guy is a multi-millionaire who plays basketball for a living. He's tall. Well-built. And has over 160,000 Twitter followers. As far as I can tell, he has no visible moles on his back, and very few stray hairs sprouting out of his nips. He also has a girlfriend (and dog) who looks like this...

OH DAT MIDRIFF

... but I still feel bad for him.

Ev's having a rough time these days. During the Eastern Conference Finals, he's been stuck on the Pacers' bench, earning a DNP: Coach's Decision in four out of the first five games. When Evan does play (four minutes in Game 3), he seems to do so with his testicles firmly implanted in his own anus, a strategy unseen since the great Keith Van Horn slung 'em up for the 2002 Washington Mystics.

Fans and media all over the country have been yucking it up at ET's expense. On the cusp of free agency, Ev is struggling to prove he's any more valuable than the teammates he's fighting for playing time with: perennial journeymen Rasual Butler (Christian Street Y represent reprezent-zent) and C.J. Watson (not good at basketball). As of now, it seems like the Sixers might've gotten the better end of their deal with Indiana, flipping Turner (and a guy whose Twitter handle is @chefVOYardee) for a 2nd round pick, and a man who refused to play basketball for their team.

Is Turner really this bad? I mean, we knew he wasn't GREAT -- as evidenced by his far too common 2 for 15 shooting nights -- but was he always THIS terrible? The short answer is yes. He's always been worthless. But he was also sort of dope for like five minutes. Not dope. That's not the right word. But "not horrible"? Is that closer? I mean, yeah, sometimes he'd shoot the ball directly off the backboard, but he'd also sometimes rebound his own miss, and then put the ball back up, get his shot blocked by around three different guys, then throw up his hands at the ref and complain... but then he'd go coast-to-coast on the next play and ram over BronBron! WHAT IS THIS GUY'S DEAL? How could Evan have gone from a potential all-star (dude was averaging 17 and 6 when we traded him) to Michael Beasley 2.0? Is he just a total bozo? And can you really feel sorry for a bozo?

I have no idea.

I honestly have no clue. To this day, after 37 years on this earth, I do not know what any of the rules of this world are. I'm just a lowly blogger who needed an idea for this week's post and literally just dropped half a tuna salad sandwich on his keyboard while he was trying to write. But Evan Turner is a total enigma. And there is seriously tuna everywhere. While I clean this up, it's important to realize that in order to truly understand ET, you have to take a long, cold, hard look into his dark past.

Pretty sure he's wearing wrapping paper here.

According to Wikipedia, when Evan was a baby, he came down with chicken pox, pneumonia, asthma and measles DURING HIS FIRST YEAR ON EARTH. This led to the little fella developing severe breathing problems that required the removal of his adenoids and tonsils. Yeah, I know, adenoids aren't a thing. And yet Evan had to have them removed. Baby Evan Turner had something sliced out of his throat that doesn't even exist. Not the best way to start off life. Unfortunately, it only got worse.

At the age of three, Evan got hit by a car. BY. A. CAR. That means that as he was just starting to legitimately walk, he got nailed by a MOVING MOTOR VEHICLE. Can you imagine seeing a Volvo smash into a three-year-old? Last week I accidentally backpedalled over my nephew's foot and now my sister-in-law refuses to talk to me. Not because of that, because of something completely unrelated (I stole $20 out of her purse... for drugs), but still, her kid needs to RE-LAX. Evan ended up with a concussion and needing stitches after his accident. Later, he developed oversized teeth which caused a speech impediment. No wonder the dude can't get along with his teammates.

For the record, there is nothing sadder -- or harder for a child to overcome -- than a speech impediment. (And that includes weirdos who are born without feet!) I grew up with a kid who was super, super nice, but he also had a lisp, and had ZERO friends. That kid was me. No, no, no it wasn't, but it woulda tied up those last few sentences nicely. That's how horrible lisps are. Even in a stupid weekly column on this measly blog, I can't bring myself to even PRETEND that I had a lisp. I bet The Villain got teased mercilessly growing up. Which had a big-time effect on a his social development. Trust me, I know, because (and you're not gonna believe this), I too was teased as a kid. I was born with a rare congenital birth defect called H.P.S. (Humongo Penis Syndrome), a condition that has plagued me my entire life. It's horrible. Follow me on Instagram, ladies. Username: KikiVandewegheJr

As Evan got older, he found basketball, and a sense of purpose. No longer just the sickly kid with a lisp, he was now the sickly kid with a lisp who could also put a dumb orange ball into a hoop. But in Oak Park, Illinois, Evan's hometown, being great at something isn't really good enough. The town is full of greatness. The upper-middle class suburb may be best known for Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture (I took a guided walking tour there with my wife! and yes it was very lovely thank you very much!), but it has also churned out loads of BIG TIME celebs. Notable Oak Park natives include: Ernest Hemingway (and his beard), Dan Castellaneta (aka Homer Simps), LIEUTENANT DANGLE (from Reno 911), Bob Newhart (not dead!), Betty White (also not dead), Corey Maggette (such a good free throw shooter), Iman Shumpert (possibly has never made a free throw), HANNAH STORM (first woman to get hotter during menopause) and wait for it...

wait for it...

JUDY TENUTA!

[nbcsports_video src=//www.youtube.com/embed/j8YTXQgYaX8 width=620 height=465]

My buddy Barklev thinks that no one knows who Judy Tenuta is. I disagree. So for the three of you out there reading this who actually know who Judy Tenoots is, how 'bout Judy Tenoots!!!

I'm not quite sure why any of this matters, but it seemed worth bringing up. Growing up surrounded by such greatness -- TENUTA -- and expectations, can put a lot of pressure on a young kid.

It got even tougher for Evan as a teenager, as he chose to play ball for the biggest dicknose in the city, Coach Gene Pingatore of Saint Joseph's High School. You may remember Pingatore from Hoop Dreams. He was the dicknose supreme who booted Arthur Agee out of school and chided William Gates for his entire career, constantly comparing him to his prized former star, Isiah "Also a Dicknose" Thomas. Pingatore rules with an iron fist (and a flacid dick of a nose). There's no way Evan's years at St. Joe's could've possibly helped him grow as a human being. AND THAT'S SAD FOR HIM.

Sidenote: While I was reading up on Captain Dicknose, I found out that William Gates's son, William Jr. (aka Spoodie) currently plays basketball at Furman College in South Carolina. Spoodie got a late start playing hoops (he first attended basketball camp the summer before 8th grade) and enrolled in St. Joe's the following year. There, he played JV as a freshman, but struggled to adjust to the school, the team, and the expectations, and eventually decided to transfer back to public school. Eventually, the Gates family moved to Texas where Spoodie spent his senior year and became a stand-out player. The moral of this story: Pingatore is still a d-nose.

Also, they call William Gates's son, Spoodie!

I'd love to get back to Evan Turner, but one more thing about Deputy Dicknose: Is it me or does he sort of look exactly like that old dude from Up?

Maybe not!

BACK TO THE POINT OF THIS WHOLE ARTICLE: EVAN TURNER'S GIRLFRIEND.

MAMA MIA.

WHAT A WOMAN.

REALLY SMOOTH ARMS.

In college, it didn't get any easier for Ev. Even while he was taking his game to the next level, he struggled to make friends on the team. Turner's former teammate at Ohio State, Mark Titus, now a writer at Grantland, wrote a book about his college career and described Turner as “weird” and “the epitome of a guy who couldn’t take a joke.” Titus also wrote that Turner was “insecure, socially feebleminded, possibly bipolar... and actually one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet when he wanted to be.”

As a pro, Evan has been constantly judged by his draft position -- #2 overall -- right behind quite possibly the best point guard who has ever played the game. That's totally unfair to Turner. No one compares to John Wall. The Wizards' stud is the most electrifying player in basketball history who is not named Sue Bird. And yet this is what Evvy must deal with. Eight picks after the Sixers took ET, the Pacers took Paul George -- THANKS, ED STEFANSKI -- who now flaunts his chiseled naked body and improving jump shot in Evan's face every day. Not lost in all this, is the fact that there is a real live human person out there named PAUL GEORGE.

Outside of Ev's time in Philly, and his current dark period in Indy, the poor guy hasn't even been able to land a decent shoe deal. ONCE AGAIN, SAD. What's the point of being an NBA player if you don't have sweet kicks? Turner is currently sponsored by the Chinese sporting goods company, Li Ning, the same company who sponsors Hasheem Thabeet and Zheng Bo.

BLAMMO!

These are Evan's sneaks:

WHY ARE THEY IN THE GRASS?!

I dunno, man. Seems to me like the guy deserves a break. I know, I know, life is hard for everyone. And Evan at least has his health. I'm not saying you have to like Evan Turnski, but you gotta feel for him a littttttttle bit. Cheerleading from the bench. Fighting with teammates in practice. Watching his stock drop lower and lower every damn day, to the point where he'll probably end up taking a one-year deal from Milwaukee this summer for a measly $4.8 milly.

It doesn't seem like that much fun to be The Villain.

Then again...

Thanks, Stefanski.

Follow The Evster @TVMWW.

New York team brings home Little League World Series championship

usa-new-york-little-league-world-series.jpg
USA Today Images

New York team brings home Little League World Series championship

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- As Ryan Harlost stepped to the mound on Sunday, he took it all in.

Chants of "U-S-A, U-S-A!" droned over his left shoulder as he dipped it to deliver a warm-up pitch. South Korean arms and flags waved furiously to his right. Little kids who asked for his autograph earlier in the week used makeshift sleds to slide down the hill toward most of the 22,000-plus fans who packed Lamade Stadium.

The Endwell, New York, pitcher admitted it made him uneasy. He sure didn't show it.

Harlost led New York to the Little League World Series title, striking out eight and limiting South Korea to five hits in six innings in a 2-1 victory. He scored the deciding run on a passed ball in the fourth inning.

"I was a little nervous at first in front of a lot of people but it's just another game and I felt confident going in," Harlost said.

But it was more than just another game.

Endwell snapped a five-year championship drought for U.S. teams on Little League's biggest stage and gave New York its first title since 1964. Huntington Beach, California, won in 2011 and Mid Island from Staten Island won New York's last World Series championship.

Conner Rush had the New York team's only RBI to give Endwell a lead it wouldn't relinquish in the bottom of the fourth. Harlost (2-0) scored the deciding run on a passed ball a batter later.

"I was just thinking get it in play any way you can," Rush said. "Once that happens, you never know what can happen."

For a while, it didn't look like New York hitters would be able to hit anything.

Junho Jeong (1-2) gave up two runs on four hits and struck out nine for South Korea (4-2). He was unflappable for most of the afternoon, working the outside of the plate masterfully for 3 1/3 innings of no-hit ball before Jude Abbadessa broke through in the fourth.

Waking to the plate as Endwell fans along the first base side bellowed "Juuude!" Abbadessa broke up the righty's no-hit bid with a single to center. Harlost followed with a liner to the same spot and Rush plated the go-ahead run with a hit that fell in behind the shortstop. Harlost raced home to give New York a 2-0 lead one batter later.

"It's just been amazing," Abbadessa said. "Just coming here would be amazing and then our team doing well is even more amazing. It's been fun the whole week and we're glad that it turned out this way."

Yoomin Lee homered for the Asia-Pacific champs from Seoul to halve New York's lead in the fifth. Harlost's precision and a stingy New York defense prevented further damage.

In the second, right fielder James Fellows made a running grab at the warning track to rob Sangheon Park of an extra base hit. With a runner on first an inning later, Harlost snagged a hard-hit liner at the mound, tossed to first to get the putout and escape the third unscathed.

Later in the fifth after Yoomin's blast halved the score, Abbadessa scooped up a grounder that took an awkward bounce and threw to first for final out of the inning.

"The Mid-Atlantic team is a really good defensive team," South Korean manager Heesu Ji said. "I'm really proud of my team."

Minho Choi struck out with runners on first and second to end the game.

Harlost turned toward his dugout on the first-base side but didn't make it there as his teammates rushed out to dogpile on him near the base line.

Most of New York's players had been on other teams together before. More than half of them were on the team that fell to last year's World Series runner-up Red Land in the Mid-Atlantic Region Championship, leaving them one win shy of qualifying for a trip to South Williamsport.

"It was all of our last years of Little League," Rush said. "So it's just awesome to know that we all came together to be the best team in the world."

Best of NFL: Vikings open new stadium with victory over Chargers

Best of NFL: Vikings open new stadium with victory over Chargers

MINNEAPOLIS -- Teddy Bridgewater was sharp in his return from a sore shoulder, completing 12 of 16 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown in the first half for the Minnesota Vikings in a 23-10 exhibition victory Sunday over the San Diego Chargers in the official unveiling their new stadium.

After sitting out last week at Seattle, Bridgewater found Kyle Rudolph for a 27-yard score and led the Vikings to points on three of five possessions. Bridgewater even put a slick juke on strong safety Adrian Phillips to further a 22-yard run that set up one of three short field goals by Blair Walsh.

Melvin Gordon, aiming to rebound from a rough rookie season, cruised through the middle of Minnesota's starting defense for a 39-yard touchdown run. San Diego lost running back Branden Oliver, though, to an Achilles tendon injury on his right leg that required a cart to take him off. Oliver is the primary kickoff returner and a contributing backup behind Gordon and Danny Woodhead.

With sunlight streaming in from the floor-to-ceiling glass on the west side and through the translucent, space-age roof, the Vikings enjoyed a gleaming debut for U.S. Bank Stadium. The sold-out crowd of 66,143 was the largest at home in franchise history.

The Chargers undoubtedly felt some envy, with their decade-and-a-half quest to replace 49-year-old Qualcomm Stadium still unfulfilled and a move to Los Angeles still a possibility. This game was conveniently scheduled for national broadcast on Fox, in case folks in San Diego were still on the fence about public funding.

Philip Rivers went 5 for 9 for 54 yards and an interception, one of three by the Vikings. Rookies Jayron Kearse and Mackensie Alexander picked off Chargers third-stringer Mike Bercovici, who's competing with Zach Mettenberger for a roster spot.

Bercovici threw three straight passes into the end zone in the fourth quarter that the Vikings had their hands on, the last one finally intercepted by second-round draft pick Alexander.

With Adrian Peterson resting on the sideline, backup Jerick McKinnon rushed eight times for 56 yards. Stefon Diggs caught five passes for 71 yards, all in the first half. Cordarrelle Patterson recovered Mycole Pruitt's fumble, one of two lost by the Vikings, in the end zone for a touchdown (see full recap).

Osweiler sharp in Texans' win over Cardinals
HOUSTON -- Brock Osweiler threw for 146 yards and a touchdown and Houston intercepted two of Carson Palmer's passes in the Texans' 34-24 exhibition victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

Osweiler led the Texans to scores on three of his four drives. He connected with first-round pick Will Fuller on a 26-yard touchdown pass that extended Houston's lead to 24-10 before sitting down with about three minutes left in the first half.

It was Osweiler's second successful outing after he and Houston's starting offense struggled in the team's first preseason game. The expectations for Osweiler are high after the Texans signed Peyton Manning's former backup to a $72 million contract this offseason.

While Osweiler was solid, Houston's starting defense starred. Andre Hal intercepted Palmer's second pass of the day to set up Houston's first score, a 1-yard touchdown run by new running back Lamar Miller.

Palmer's second drive was his only clean one, and it ended with a 3-yard touchdown run by David Johnson.

On Arizona's next possession, linebacker John Simon tipped a pass by Palmer, intercepted it and returned it 59 yards for a touchdown. It was the second straight game in which Palmer had an interception returned for a touchdown after Brandon Flowers did it in last week in a 9-3 loss at San Diego.

Palmer attempted to tackle Simon after the interception and was tackled by 305-pound defensive end Devon Still, a hit that knocked the quarterback's helmet off. Coach Bruce Arians had seen enough after that hit, and Palmer was replaced by Drew Stanton.

Fuller finished with 67 yards receiving and fellow rookie Braxton Miller, the former Ohio State star quarterback, added three receptions for 29 yards. The Texans chose Fuller in the first round this year to take pressure off Pro Bowler DeAndre Hopkins, who was third in the NFL with 1,521 yards receiving last season despite facing near constant double teams (see full recap).

Bengals' 1st-team offense impresses in win over Jags
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Cincinnati Bengals were so sharp against Jacksonville that Andy Dalton and several teammates were done long before halftime.

Dalton led the Bengals to two touchdowns in three possessions, earning him a little extra rest in a 26-21 loss to the Jaguars in the preseason Sunday night.

"It was a good outing for us," Dalton said. "Two touchdowns in the first half of a preseason game is pretty good, and we got them both ways. ... It's a good feeling to do it both ways."

The Bengals (2-1) felt good on both sides of the ball, too. Dalton found Giovani Bernard for a 19-yard score on a third-down play, and then Jeremy Hill capped a 9-minute drive with a 1-yard scramble to the pylon. Defensively, the Bengals held Jacksonville to just 90 yards in the first half. Jacksonville's first three drives: turnover, three-and-out and three-and-out.

Cincy's only concern in the regular-season dress rehearsal was the health of three Pro Bowlers.

Receiver A.J. Green left in the first quarter with a bruised right knee, but the team said it was nothing serious and he should be fine for the opener. Cornerback Adam Jones strained a calf in preseason warmups and did not play. And special teams ace Cedric Peerman broke his left forearm and could be sidelined for the season.

Safety Tashaun Gipson (bruised knee) was Jacksonville's only injured starter.

The Jaguars (0-3) had bigger problems -- the offense and defense both failed to show -- that raised questions about what's supposed to the franchise's most talented team in nearly a decade (see full recap).

Wideouts Rueben Randle, Chris Givens among 8 players cut by Eagles Sunday

Wideouts Rueben Randle, Chris Givens among 8 players cut by Eagles Sunday

The Eagles released Rueben Randle and Chris Givens on Sunday, ending the brief and disappointing Eagles careers of both veteran wide receivers.

The two receivers were among eight players released by the team on Sunday evening.

Randle caught five passes for 26 yards in the preseason and Givens caught one for 19 yards.

The Eagles tried to bolster their receiver corps by adding the two receivers this offseason, signing Randle to a one-year, $1,025,000 contract and Givens to a one-year $760,000 deal.

Randle got $500,000 guaranteed and Givens $180,000 guaranteed, so the two moves will count $680,000 against the Eagles’ 2016 adjusted salary cap of $161,570,362.

The moves leave the Eagles with eight wide receivers: Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, Dorial Green-Beckham, Josh Huff, Paul Turner, Marcus Johnson, Cayleb Jones and David Watford.

Barring any other personnel moves, Matthews, Agholor, Green-Beckham, Huff and Turner appear headed for the final 53-man roster.

Randle’s decline is fairly astonishing.

Two years ago with the Giants, he caught 71 passes for 938 yards, and last year he caught 57 passes for 797 yards and eight touchdowns. He had four catches of 40 yards or more in 2015, fourth-most in the NFL. In four seasons in New York, he caught 188 passes for 2,644 yards and 20 TDs.

Yet the Giants had no interest in re-signing him. Now the former second-round pick’s career is in jeopardy at the age of 25.

Givens, a fourth-round pick of the Rams in 2012, was with his third team in two years this summer. His once-promising career could be over at the age of 26.

Most notable among the six other players released was offensive tackle Andrew Gardner, who started 11 games in an Eagles uniform.

Gardner, who had also spent time with the Dolphins and Texans, started eight games at right guard and right tackle for the Eagles in 2014 and was the Eagles’ opening-day starter last year at right guard. He suffered a Lisfranc injury in his left foot during a Week 3 game against the Jets at the Meadowlands and missed the rest of the season.

Also released was a member of last year’s draft class, sixth-round pick Randall Evans out of Kansas State. Evans spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad but was activated for the Pat Shurmur season finale against the Giants at the Meadowlands and got into the game on special teams.

The Eagles also released veteran defensive tackle Mike Martin, who played in 46 games for the Titans the last four years, including five starts. Also released were long snapper John DePalma and cornerback Denzel Rice, the latter of who played in five games last year and got 20 defensive snaps in the season finale against the Giants last year.

The Eagles also placed linebacker Joe Walker (knee) and defensive end Alex McCalister (calf), two rookie seventh-round picks, on season-ending Injured Reserve.

Teams have until Tuesday to reduce rosters to 75. The Eagles’ roster is currently at 73, and they have to reduce it to 53 by 4 p.m. next Sunday.

The Eagles finish the preseason on Thursday night at the Linc against the Jets.