Ohio State's Evan Turner launching podcast career with close friend Andre Iguodala

Adam Jardy
The Columbus Dispatch
Former Ohio State Buckeyes player Evan Turner watches during the second half of the NCAA men's basketball game against the Michigan State Spartans at Value City Arena in Columbus on March 3, 2022. Ohio State won 80-69.

At some point, Evan Turner and Andre Iguodala realized they shouldn’t just be talking to themselves.

When Turner was drafted by the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, Iguodala was entering his sixth season in the league. Teammates for two years, the pair quickly struck up a relationship that they now liken to a brotherhood. So when former ESPN president and co-founder of Meadowlark Media John Skipper presented the two with the idea of starting a podcast together, it seemed like a no-brainer for Turner.

“We (Andre and I) always wanted to figure out a way to work together,” Turner said. “When this opportunity presented itself it was like, ‘Yo dude, we do this all the time. All we do is sit and talk for hours and discuss broad topics.’ We got encouraged by friends who would hear us speak and hang out with us a bit and say if people were doing podcasts you two should absolutely do it.”

The result is “Point Forward,” a new weekly podcast featuring Turner and Iguodala that will see the duo discuss a wide variety of topics and host guests from the basketball world and beyond. Available on all major platforms, early episodes of the podcast have already featured NBA players Stephen Curry and Isaiah Thomas.

It's not just a basketball podcast, though. Turner cited Jay-Z and Barack Obama as top dream guests.

“The first thing we’re trying to get across is make sure we hit the fine line of where culture meets sports,” Turner said. “Andre and I are entrepreneurs. We’re big into tech. we’re big into current events. We’re big into things more than just basketball. Certain times we might discuss jewelry, we might discuss art, we’ll discuss the metaverse, crypto, all those things. The most important thing we want to do is get beneath the surface.”

For Turner, the podcast is also a step toward a life outside the game that has dictated the majority of his life to this point. After three seasons at Ohio State, culminating with national player of the year honors in 2010, Turner was taken second overall in the NBA draft and began a 10-year professional career that wrapped with Atlanta in 2020. He then spent a year with Boston, where he played from 2014-16, as an assistant coach before not being retained when Brad Stevens went from coach to president of basketball operations.

Now splitting his time between Columbus and Chicago, Turner said he’s been able to assimilate to a life outside of basketball thanks to early advice from his mother, Iris James, his Illinois Wolves AAU coach, Mike Mullins.

“Those are hard conversations to have, but I was definitely prepped in advance to understand that ball is gonna stop bouncing and to be confident in all I have to offer besides shooting hoops,” Turner said. “That was a beautiful thing and I’m blessed to be at this level and this moment to try to attack a different occupation and field and learn the most I can about it and see where it goes.”

Now, it’s led him to the microphone.

ajardy@dispatch.com

@AdamJardy