Texas' Myles Turner (52) celebrates scoring over Texas Tech's Zach Smith (11) during an NCAA college basketball game at the Frank Erwin Center on Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015. (Stephen Spillman/FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

BEVO BEAT Men's Basketball

Former Longhorn Myles Turner really likes Kobe Bryant

Posted February 10th, 2016

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Texas' Myles Turner, right, shoots over Iowa State's Abdel Nader, left, during NCCA basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015 in Austin, Texas. (RODOLFO GONZALEZ / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
Texas’ Myles Turner, right, shoots over Iowa State’s Abdel Nader, left, during NCCA basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015 in Austin, Texas. (RODOLFO GONZALEZ / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

In the midst of a strong rookie season, former Texas Longhorn basketball forward Myles Turner appears to be blossoming into the dominating player that many thought he’d one day be (although, his one season in Austin was pretty strong).

Turner, who struggled at times in his lone season with Texas but eventually figured things out, is averaging 14.3 points per game, 6.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks for the Indiana Pacers over the past two weeks. He’s shooting at a high clip (56.3 percent from the field) in that span, and if it weren’t for a couple of jaw-droppingly good rookie seasons from Minnesota’s Karl Anthony-Townes and New York’s Kristaps Porzingis, maybe he’d be in the running for NBA Rookie of the Year.

That said, he is in the running for the “NBA Rookie Who Loves Kobe Bryant the Most” award. Yes, that’s a made-up honor, but the NBA should just go ahead and hand it out. Turner and the Pacers played the Los Angles Lakers on Monday night, and Turner penned a special note to the soon-to-be retiring Bryant.

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Here’s the note Turner wrote on his fan club site:

“Thank you for inspiring me in ways that you’ll never understand or even know.

Thank you for defying the odds coming out of high school and becoming one of the greatest players to ever play our beloved game

Thank you for the countless hours of work you put in when the world wasn’t watching

Thank you for letting me experience one of the most unforgettable games in my short-lived career thus far

Thank you for the beauty in your struggle to get to where you’re at today

Thank you for proving the doubters wrong

And most importantly Mr.Bryant….

Thank you for your legacy”

The 19-year-old Turner went on to score 14 points, grab 13 rebounds and hit 75 percent of his shots against the Lakers in a 89-87 win. It’ll likely be the last time Turner and Bryant will play each other ever again.

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