Evan Turner on Basketball's New Media, His 'Point Forward' Podcast and the NBA Playoffs

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Evan Turner has two important mottos that we all could learn from: never limit yourself, and never stop learning. Turner had a great ten-year career as an NBA player, but even while playing, he was thinking about and actively making his next moves—prepping the playbook for life after basketball. Now in 2023, Turner is still very much all about his business while still being close to the game. Turner hosts a podcast with former teammate Andre Iguodala called Point Forward, along with another podcast called Beyond the Big 10, where he talks all about the latest happenings in the Big 10.

Adding to his entrepreneurial endeavors, Turner is also heavily involved in the real estate market, which is something he began learning about during his playing days. A lot is in the works for Turner, who was kind enough to catch up with us last week. You can check out the interview below.

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ONE37pm: Thanks for chatting with us Evan! Let's start with the podcasts! For those that don't know, what is Point Forward?

Turner: Myself and Andre Iguodala started a podcast back in February 2022 called Point Forward, and the name came off a play from our basketball position where you play the 1,2, or 3, which is a point guard all the way to small forward. Our friendship and conversation always involved in-depth convos in front of other people who would tell us we needed to get a podcast. Myself and Dre always thought it was cool, but we wanted to avoid the trend of jumping into something and talking about the old days and memories. We wanted to create moreso a culture podcast that combined culture, basketball, comedy, and business.

Our guests have also been helping us build in that regard—we've had Steph Curry and Isiah Thomas, all the way to billionaire business owner Robert Smith. We've been able to do interviews with a lot of cool, dope dudes. It's been great in regards to building our catalog. I think a year into this we like the traction we're getting with our podcast. It's been pretty fun!

The athletes' presence is always recognized because they give real insight, as opposed to narratives.

- Evan Turner on the "New Media"

ONE37pm: What about Beyond the Big 10?

Turner: That's something that just started over the summer. I've gotta give Draymond Green a little bit of credit for pushing the term "new media." I've always respected the opinions of guys that have been through and experienced it, and I think that insight is much more important than somebody who hasn't. With that, I was able to reach into my contacts and get some pretty big Big 10 players into the podcast game. During the basketball season we do a weekly podcast, where you're getting all the sauce from the players that played at that particular school. There's a lot of great basketball minds and mentalities that have been on our pod, so we're continuing to replicate that in other sports such as football. The athletes' presence is always recognized because they give real insight, as opposed to narratives.

ONE37pm: I kind of want go back to the media element. It seems like there's such friction between the media and athletes now. With NBA players having the power to do what you guys are doing in terms of telling stories your own way, what do you think is the best way to repair that relationship?

Turner: It's all about humility, and like with any relationship, you have to work at it. I think sometimes media members will come in with a narrative. In fact, we were just talking about this on the podcast with Isiah Thomas, and he was saying that you have a lot of media members writing on athletes and our culture, and they have no understanding of our culture besides stereotypes and narratives that are derived in ignorance. I think sometimes the media should listen to a player and take their word for it, and be humble enough to know what you don't know. I can never tell somebody about taxes or sign language or anything else like that, because I have no experience nor the criteria.

I think athletes are really fighting back for their narrative.

- Evan Turner

Only in the sports world can a media member come from a sport like lacrosse, have a deadline, and completely destroy the reputation of a player through an outlet or a newspaper where the people reading are smart enough to know otherwise. I think athletes are really fighting back for their narrative. One thing that kind of put a battery in all of our backs was that lady telling LeBron to "shut up and dribble." No, you are going to understand where we're coming from and be taken into our world.

Being on the other side as an athlete—the media has never seen what it feels like to see a false narrative in the paper.

- Evan Turner

Being on the other side as an athlete—the media has never seen what it feels like to see a false narrative in the paper. And not just one time either, but repeatedly. When I was in Philadelphia, I could say something really humble and nice, and it could get switched. Now my reputation outside of basketball is being built by some beat writer who decided whether or not they liked me that day. That's not right!

ONE37pm: Can you tell us a bit about your interest in entrepreneurship?

Turner: I've always been fortunate enough to be around the right people, and I'm big into real estate. When I first left school I invested into this apartment complex that was being built outside of the Ohio State campus, and once I got my first taste of that investment and ownership, it gave me the confidence to dive in and do more stuff where I was able to make my money work for me. Over the past ten years or so, I've been fortunate enough to do my own projects buying and making a profit. I haven't been a genius at it, but I've been able to comprehend that when it works it works. I've made a lot of great connections over the years, and have been able to build a real estate portfolio that I'm proud of.

ONE37pm: The NBA Playoffs are in full effect. At the time of this writing the Warriors are down 0-2, but they don't seem worried. I think they could make things interesting by being the first team to come back from an 0-3 deficit if that happens. What do you think?

Turner: I think 0-2 is a good enough, but I do agree with you! If the Warriors were to go down 0-3 I still don't think they would lose. I know everybody harps on the Warriors and they're the team to hate, but the longevity and greatness—I mean Draymond is still getting thrown out the game in a hostile environment! In certain locker rooms, what Draymond did would probably cripple the coaching staff and the players, but that isn't the case—they are right there with him. That's why you love the Warriors. They are filled with grit. It's one of those journeys where you don't know when exactly it's going to end, but I'm glad to have experienced it. If the Warriors win again this year, I'm willing to scream that Steph is in the top five.

ONE37pm: Well, what's next for you?

Turner: When it comes to our Big 10 podcast—we're getting prepared to replicate what we did with the basketball season with football. I'm getting some pretty big names. We've got some former Super Bowl players and All-Americans. We're going to continue to push the athlete's narratives, and long story short, I'm going to enjoy the journey of learning. I was fortunate to be a part of a game for two decades, and I was able to come out mentally good with connections. I want to build and see what rooms I can walk in. Besides that, we're gonna finish strong with Point Forward.

We've probably got a month-and-a-half of content stored and some more players that want to join the show along with a couple of live settings that will be more wavy. We're definitely going to take the show on the road, and hopefully you'll be seeing us at some halls near you!

You can keep up with Evan Turner via Instagram, and listen to the Point Forward podcast here.

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