The Sixers Evan Turner said Monday he has read parts of the new book Dont Put Me In, Coach: My Incredible NCAA Journey From the End of the Bench to the End of the Bench, by former Ohio State teammate Mark Titus -- a book that often depicts Turner in an unfavorable light -- but dismissed its contents as fabrications and exaggerations.
Turner nonetheless maintained that he is not the least bit upset by it.
One thing about that book -- he forgot the part where I skin puppies for Cruella de Vil, he said with a laugh before the Sixers beat New Jersey to clinch a playoff berth.
Titus, a former walk-on guard for the Buckeyes, is the creator of the popular blog Club Trillion. In his book, he wrote that Turner -- whom he dubbed The Villain when they were teammates -- was weird and the epitome of a guy who couldnt take a joke and that Turner tried to fight (him) no less than three times and actually threw punches on one of those.
Titus also wrote that Turner was insecure, socially feebleminded, possibly bipolar, and often callous perfectionist who had all the talent in the world, who lacked self-confidence and the ability to trust in anybody around him but beyond that was actually one of the nicest guys youll ever meet when he wanted to be. And, he added, the two of them fully respect one another and more often than not get along.
Asked about the book Monday, Turner said, I dont even worry about it. He made a book based on him being an angel. Its like, no way. I was just like, this kid is crazy. I text-messaged him and said, All due respect, if you really believe thats how it happened, you need to mature.
But Turner claims there is no malice on his part.
You accept Mark for Mark, he said. I laugh at him, but Ive got enough stuff to worry about without some guy telling stories to make money. You expect that from Titus, you know? When you accept somebody for who they are, you dont get mad. Hes one of those guys who likes attention, so he started the blog, (and) he writes a book or whatever to keep the attention on him. You understand thats what he likes, and thats what keeps him going. Thats Mark, you know? I love him for who he is. I dont get mad at that type of stuff.
Gordie Jones is an award-winning journalist who has worked in the Philadelphia market for 28 years. He also co-authored a book about the 76ers' 1982-83 championship team with former Sixers general manager Pat Williams.