Myles Turner is one of the premier shot blockers in the NBA, and the block he definitely remembers the most is LeBron James’.
Turner has been a key piece of the Indiana Pacers defensive identity ever since he was drafted 11th overall by the team in 2015. He’s always been locking down the paint, and he’s never been afraid of contesting shots, no matter who’s coming at him.
Turner has been an elite shot blocker since he came into the league, averaging 2.2 blocks per game over his six year career. Last season, he averaged a career high and league high 3.4 blocks per game (the second time he’s led the league in blocks per game).
Myles Turner gets up for his 6TH BLOCK of the FIRST HALF! 🚫 pic.twitter.com/wBmonMxQMs
— NBA (@NBA) February 26, 2020
When he blocked LeBron James, however, that moment truly marked a memorable night for the Pacers center.
Myles Turner Knew His Block On LeBron James Was Going To Go Viral
Blocking anyone in the NBA is an impressive feat. Blocks often energize a team, leading to a potential fast break on the other side as the defense flexes its muscles after shutting down what looked like an easy bucket for the offense.
Blocks draw in the audience, as they go wild after every rejection. However, blocking some players feels way better than blocking others.
As a rookie, you face tremendous pressure anytime you go up against some of the game’s best players. When the Pacers played the Cavaliers back in 2016, Turner faced that same pressure when he saw LeBron drive hard to the rim against him. LeBron is usually a freight train whenever he attacks the basket.
His strength and control around the rim is unmatched, and going against a rookie usually spells trouble for the newbie who has to defend one of the greatest players ever. However, Turner wasn’t fazed. He met LeBron head on and turned away his shot, drawing a huge roar from the home crowd at Indiana.
Myles Turner meets LeBron James at the rim and sends him packing!
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) February 2, 2016
That moment was unreal for Turner. He would recall:
“It was my first quote-unquote viral moment. I had everybody back at home hitting me up like yo, that just happened … I knew it was going to end up on SportsCenter one way or the other. I was going to block it, or I was going to get dunked on. There’s a certain fearlessness that you have to have on the defensive side of things. I’m a shot blocker. It’s one of the things I’ve always done. I just went out there and let the chips fall where they may.”
The chips certainly fell Turner’s way, resulting in an incredible block, one that he’s sure to remember for a very long time.