The BroadCast | Confident Korkmaz Eager for Year Two

by Brian Seltzer
Sixers.com Reporter

Forget, for a moment, Furkan Korkmaz’s explosive start to summer league play, or how things have gone since.

Numbers aside, the 76ers’ shooting guard believes he’s coming back for his second NBA season a far more confident player than he was as a rookie.

While out in Las Vegas, Korkmaz took a few minutes to join our podcast. You can listen to the episode below.

Here too are some select excerpts from our conversation with the Turk, who will celebrate a 21st birthday in a few weeks.

Let’s start with how things started for you in Las Vegas.  I know you guys wanted the win against the Boston Celtics, but that 40-point performance was pretty nuts:

“This is my second Summer League games; I feel really confident about it. I feel more experienced than last season, last summer. I got more experience with the team, with the coaches, with the staff. I know everyone now. I think for me the point is when I get more confidence, I start to feel better, I start to play better.  In the first game, I think I showed my best. I showed what I can do on the court. I know what I got, I just need to show it every game.”

I’m sure you saw this, you are a man of Twitter -- Donovan Mitchell giving you a shoutout.  Did you see that?:

“Yeah, I saw that.  He reacted like everyone.  The people who are coming to the gym want to see something special on the court.  The people who are coming to the gym to have fun. Also as the players for summer league, of course we are showing our basketball abilities.  But, here is a short business, also. So the people are coming here to have fun. We are also the same. The people love the players who can score 30, 40 (points).  They want to see something special, and for me it was something special. For them it was also something special. I’m really proud of it. I can say if we can win the game also, it’s going to be better with the win.  But, I’m happy for the situation I’m in.”

I heard, and you can tell me if this is true or false, [fellow Turkish player] Mehmet Okur reached out to you. That’s pretty cool:

“He’s also here in Vegas.  I was with him. We had dinner, Mehmet Okur, Cedi Osman. We had dinner all together, and then to have fun all together.  Everybody was talking about (my performance).”

Just how much does international basketball mean in Europe, to Turkey. How much attention does that get, even for two [FIBA World Cup 2019 European] qualifying games back home in Turkey?:

“For me, for my country, those games are really important, because during the season we play four games.  As NBA players, we couldn’t play those games because we were in the season, also. They lost two games, they won two games.  And now we are 4-2; we got four wins, two losses. We’ve got two more games in September and then I hope we will make the World Cup.  We have a good advantage now. As a Turkish people, we need this because the sport is becoming now bigger and bigger in Turkey. We are growing up all together.  The people, they love basketball; they love action; they love the young guys. Now, the generation is changing. Before, Hedo Turkoglu was our main player. Mehmet Okur, Omer Asik, Ersan Ilyasova.  The generation is changing now. The Turkish fans love young guys because we have so many young guys. Our average age is 26. The people love young guys, that’s why everyone is trying to show the Turkish people what they deserve.”

Can I ask you about your bracelet on your wrist?  It says, “Get [Something] Done.” So, where did that come from?:

“My sentence is ‘every single day.’  Maybe, you’ve seen on my Instagram activity “every single day.”  But, now, I was searching on the Google or something, can I get something new?  I saw this. For us basketball players, I think it means a lot. ‘Get [Blah, blah, blah] Done, because you can start the game 10-0, 10-2, and then lose the game.  When you start to do one job, you need to keep doing what you’re doing. I think that’s also part of my mentality. It’s giving me power.”

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