Myles Turner is expecting to do big things going into Year 4 with the Indiana Pacers.
He’s changed his diet. He’s picked up yoga. Oh, and the NBA’s Eastern Conference doesn’t have LeBron James in it anymore.
“The East is open,” Turner said. “It’s going to be competitive. We’ve got a lot of good acquisitions in the off-season — our bench got stronger and we have high hopes for ourselves.”
The Pacers fell to James and the Cavaliers in seven games in the opening round of the playoffs last season, but have bolstered their roster by signing players such as Tyreke Evans, Doug McDermott and Kyle O’Quinn and drafting Aaron Holiday.
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“Guys see an opportunity and everybody is going to try and seize it,” Turner said.
Turner made those comments from his basketball camp that he is hosting this weekend at his old stomping grounds, Euless Trinity High School.
Turner loved the energy his campers hand on Friday, feeding off it himself. He went “one-on-one” against a few campers, and none of them were able to get a shot off against the 6-foot-11 Turner.
“I love having this camp,” said Turner, who spent a season at the University of Texas. “The biggest thing is the energy. I love coming out here and being able to put this on.”
More than 70 kids attended the morning session on Friday, and more than 100 at the afternoon session. Half the kids, Turner’s mom Mary said, are returnees.
“I’m really proud of Myles cause I like the fact that the same Myles everyone meets is the same kid that goes home with me,” Mary Turner said. “He’s very genuine and I love the way that he communicates with the kids. He tries to give back in that way and it’s very genuine.”
Every coach on hand to help run Turner’s camp is either a former teammate or coach from AAU or high school. Of course, the star is Turner himself. He knows the platform he has and the influence he can make on children growing up in his hometown.
“It just gives kids hope, seeing somebody from their own hometown in the league,” Turner said. “It gives them that motivation.”
Similar to the motivation Turner and the rest of the East now have with James gone.