Sixers' Furkan Korkmaz reacts to all the nicknames, explains the motto that inspired a shirt


Last February, Furkan Korkmaz was lying in a hospital bed after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. He posed for an Instagram photo, gave a thumbs up and told his followers, “I’ll be stronger when I get back!”

Korkmaz has certainly delivered on that promise. He’d said at his exit interview last May, “I don’t know where I’m going to end up,” but it didn’t seem likely that it would be Philadelphia after the Sixers’ decision to decline his third-year option. Yet Korkmaz was one of he team’s best stories in the 2019-20 campaign before the coronavirus pandemic suspended the NBA season. His 126 made three-pointers are most on the Sixers, and he’s shooting 39.7 percent from long range (45.3 percent at Wells Fargo Center). 

You’ll notice the shirt Korkmaz is wearing in the photo from February reads “Every Single Day.”

It’s a customized shirt, and he explained the meaning behind the motto in an interview Tuesday with NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Serena Winters. 

When I was 15 [years old] or 14, there were some camps of Michael Jordan in Europe," Korkmaz said. "It was in Barcelona, I believe, or Madrid. I went to one of his camps — there were three players from Turkey who attended the camp. And they gave us some T-shirts, some shorts. And I saw this [phrase] ‘Every Single Day’ on a T-shirt. I was like, what does this mean?

"Then I started to search — what does it really mean? First, I understood it like you’re alone every day. So, there is nobody around me — at the end of the day when you go to bed, you’re alone, by yourself. And then I start to understand — these are all my comments — that every day is [singular]. Tomorrow is not going to be today, today is not going to be tomorrow. … I started to feel like that’s my life. I started to live like that. 

The 22-year-old Korkmaz seems to combine infinite confidence with a sincere appreciation that his profession is essentially to put a ball through a hoop. That, along with his scoring bursts this season, has been endearing to teammates and fans. It’s also inspired quite a few nicknames. 

Does Korkmaz have a favorite? 

“I love all of them,” he said, “like Furky from Turkey with the jerky. I also like Goatmaz, you know. … Goatmaz is nice. Furky, I was using it for a long time. … Probably until the season is over I’m going to have a couple more nicknames, and then we’ll talk about it later, too.” 

You can watch the video above for more of Thybulle’s interview with Winters, including plenty of discussion about the distinct style and fashion he's showcased on his Instagram account. 

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