Mehmet Okur

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Mehmet Okur
Mehmo.jpg
No. 13
Center / Power forward
Personal information
Born (1979-05-26) May 26, 1979 (age 34)
Yalova, Turkey
Nationality Turkish
Listed height 6 ft 11 in (211 cm)
Listed weight 290 lb (132 kg)
Career information
NBA draft 2001 / Round: 2 / Pick: 37th overall
Selected by the Detroit Pistons
Pro playing career 1997–2012
Career history
1997–1998 Oyak Renault (Turkey)
1998–2000 Tofaş S.K. (Turkey)
2000–2002 Efes Pilsen (Turkey)
20022004 Detroit Pistons
20042011 Utah Jazz
2011 Türk Telekom (Turkey)
2011–2012 New Jersey Nets
Career highlights and awards

Mehmet Murat Okur (born May 26, 1979) is a Turkish retired professional basketball player who last played for the New Jersey Nets of the NBA. Listed at (6' 11"),1 he played as a power forward and center.

Early career

Mehmet Okur was born at Yalova to a family which has its roots going back to Bosnia, Ukraine and Caucasia. Okur notes Toni Kukoč was his favorite player while he was growing up.2 He helped the Turkish 22-and-under national team to 6th place at the 1997 world championship.3 Mehmet was transferred to Efes Pilsen in 2000 and won a championship in the 2001–2002 Turkish Basketball League season.4 He averaged 13.5 points per game during his last season in Turkey.5

NBA career

Detroit Pistons

Okur was selected 37th overall in the second round of the 2001 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons.6 He played two seasons for the Pistons from 2002/03 to 2003/04, helping Detroit win the NBA championship in June 2004. He became the first Turkish player to win an NBA championship. Due to salary cap limitations, the Pistons were unable to pay a top-level salary for Okur, but he was able to parlay his success into a six-year, US$50 million contract with the Utah Jazz.

Utah Jazz

Standing 2.11 m (6'11") and 132 kg (290 lb),1 Okur played the center and power forward positions for the Utah Jazz. In his first season (2004–2005) with Utah, he played in all 82 games, starting in 25 of them. Nicknamed "Memo", Okur made his presence felt during his second (2005–2006) season with Utah, increasing his scoring average from 12.9 points per game the previous season to 18.0 points per game. He started in all 82 games for the second straight season, the only Utah Jazz player to do so. In his third season, he continued to be a key player for Utah.78

He was named to the Western Conference All-Star team for the 2007 NBA All-Star Game. He and Ray Allen were selected as replacements for injured original members Allen Iverson and Steve Nash.9 He was the first Turkish player to participate in this event.

On Monday, January 12, 2009, Okur established a new career high in points scored when he scored 43 points against the Indiana Pacers.

On July 10, 2009 Okur signed a two-year contract extension reportedly worth approximately $21 million.10

On April 17, 2010, Okur ruptured his Achilles' tendon during the first game of the post-season against the Denver Nuggets, eliminating him from the remainder of the NBA playoffs, as well as the World Basketball Championships in his native Turkey later that summer.

He returned on December 17, 2010 and scored 2 points against the New Orleans Hornets.

New Jersey Nets

On December 22, 2011, Okur was traded to the New Jersey Nets for a 2015 second round pick.11

Portland Trail Blazers

On March 15, 2012, Okur was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers along with Shawne Williams and a 2012 1st round draft pick in exchange for Gerald Wallace.12 He was waived by Portland on March 21, 2012.13

Later in 2012, Okur decided to retire from basketball, citing injuries.14

Türk Telekom Ankara

In September 2011, Okur signed a contract with Türk Telekom B.K. His contract had an out-clause, which allowed him to return to the NBA when the 2011 NBA lockout was resolved.15

Personal life

He is married to actress and former Miss Turkey finalist Yeliz Çalışkan. They have a daughter, Melisa, born on March 21, 2007, and a son, Yiğit Mehmet, born on February 19, 2010.

Awards and honors

NBA career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2002–03 Detroit 72 9 19.0 .426 .339 .733 4.7 1.0 .3 .5 6.9
2003–04 Detroit 71 33 22.3 .463 .375 .775 5.9 1.0 .5 .9 9.6
2004–05 Utah 82 25 28.1 .468 .270 .850 7.5 2.0 .4 .8 12.9
2005–06 Utah 82 82 35.9 .460 .342 .780 9.1 2.4 .5 .9 18.0
2006–07 Utah 80 80 33.3 .462 .384 .765 7.2 2.0 .5 .5 17.6
2007–08 Utah 72 72 33.2 .445 .388 .804 7.7 2.0 .8 .4 14.5
2008–09 Utah 72 72 33.5 .485 .446 .817 7.7 1.7 .8 .7 17.0
2009–10 Utah 73 73 29.4 .458 .385 .820 7.1 1.6 .5 1.1 13.5
2010–11 Utah 13 0 12.9 .355 .313 .750 2.3 1.5 .3 .3 4.9
2011–12 New Jersey 17 14 26.7 .374 .319 .600 4.8 1.8 .5 .3 7.6
Career 634 460 29.1 .458 .375 .797 7.0 1.7 .5 .7 13.5
All-Star 1 0 15.0 1.000 .000 .000 2.0 1.0 .0 .0 4.0

7

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2003 Detroit 17 0 19.0 .438 .538 .531 4.1 .8 .7 .7 5.5
2004 Detroit 22 0 11.5 .470 .400 .692 2.8 .4 .2 .4 3.7
2007 Utah 17 17 34.4 .388 .316 .786 7.8 1.8 1.4 .9 11.8
2008 Utah 12 12 38.5 .423 .373 .773 11.8 1.9 .7 .7 15.4
2009 Utah 2 2 21.5 .167 .333 .750 5.0 2.0 .0 .5 4.0
2010 Utah 1 1 11.0 1.000 1.000 1.000 2.0 .0 .0 .0 7.0
Career 71 32 23.6 .415 .362 .713 5.9 1.1 .7 .6 8.1

References

External links








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