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BASKETBALL > Okur’s NBA career might come to end

PORTLAND

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Former All-Star Mehmet Okur (L) has been one of Turkey’s best performers in the National Basketball Association, especially during his seven years at the Utah Jazz.

Former All-Star Mehmet Okur (L) has been one of Turkey’s best performers in the National Basketball Association, especially during his seven years at the Utah Jazz.

The Portland Trail Blazers waived Mehmet Okur on March 21, raising doubts on the NBA career of the center, who said he could return to Turkey.

Okur, who was acquired last week in the deal that sent Gerald Wallace to the New Jersey Nets, never played for Portland.

Okur said he would not accept offers for the remainder of the season.

“I will not play until the end of the season,” the 33-year-old said on his Twitter account. “I want to spend the next five months in the best way possible to make a new start.”

However, he added that returning to Turkey to play for Fenerbahçe Ülker would also be on the table.
Okur is nearing the end of a two-year $20.8-million contract.

Okur has been arguably Turkey’s most successful player in the NBA, along with Hidayet “Hedo” Türkoğlu. The center is the only Turkish player to participate in an All-Star game in 2007 and the only Turk to have won an NBA title with the Detroit Pistons in 2004.

He averaged 13.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in 634 career games.

March/23/2012

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