Turiaf's Exciting Week Ends as Bosh Fill-In

May 13, 2012 | by Ethan Skolnick, Palm Beach Post

It was one of the reasons Ronny Turiaf signed with Miami in March, the chance for his 81-year-old grandmother Annie to see him play an NBA game in person for the first time.

It merely took two surprises.

For the past month, the veteran frontcourt player has contributed mostly as a manic spectator, wildly cheering from the bench. After Chris Bosh's first-half abdominal injury Sunday, Turiaf was a second-half starter, dunking twice in nine minutes. So that was the second surprise.

"In a lot of ways, Turiaf's energy changed the game," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said.

Turiaf had cause for what he called an "extra kick."

"To see my grandmother in the stands, my family in the stands, I couldn't let them down," Turiaf said.

That was a result of the first surprise. Last week, Turiaf's business manager had woken him from a nap to go to a meeting. At the supposed meeting, at a waterside restaurant, the business manager asked if he could see dolphins swimming. He could not, and saw something better instead.

"All my aunties jumped me," Turiaf said. "And started kissing me."

They had come from Martinique, with his father, a cousin and Annie. So they got tickets to the game, and grandma – "who doesn't know much about basketball" – wore one of the LeBron James' "MVP" headbands.

"I have had a great personal week," Turiaf said. "This is something that God gave me."

Turiaf will likely start Tuesday if Bosh can't go. That's because Erik Spoelstra recognizes that Joel Anthony is much more comfortable coming off the bench. Sunday, Anthony played one of his stronger games, with nine points, seven rebounds and several star-freeing screens in his 23 minutes. That earned him recognition not only from his coach and James and Dwyane Wade, but from the Heat's all-time interior stopper.

After most of the media left the locker room, Alonzo Mourning tapped Anthony on the shoulder.

"You get the Chevy MVP today," Mourning said. "Keep it up."

Tags: Ronny Turiaf , Miami Heat , Chris Bosh , playoffs , NBA , Basketball