It may not have gotten a lot of attention around sports circles, even in the Basektball-centric ones, but Mehmet Okur retired today. At only the age of 33, Okur cited injuries and an inability to play at a high level for the reason for his retirement. He lasted played for the Nets, where he had career lows in all major categories.
The name Mehmet Okur may not seem synonymous with legend, nor will he be someone that we will champion on our Notinhalloffame.com Basketball List. However, he did establish some interesting NBA footnotes with an International scope. Okur became the first Turkish born player to hoist an NBA Championship (with Detroit in 2004) and was the first to become an All Star in 2007. He posted solid seasons with the Jazz in the mid 00’s, and was a very good part of that organization. Okur may not be the best player ever out of Turkey (Hedo Turkoglu may have a solid claim to that spot), but he is a big part of the growth of the sport in his homeland. It may not be Hall of Fame worthy in North America, but in Turkey…..It should be.