If I had a quarter for every time I’ve seen someone (mostly on Twitter) make a comment about the way my boy Evan Turner speaks, it would fund a nice trip to Vegas; which, coincidentally, I need to start saving for.
There are harmless comments, which I don’t mind seeing because a lot of people have just started becoming familiar with him. But it’s the ones making uncalled for comments and jokes that make me want to gouge people’s eyes out. But again, these people probably wouldn’t make those comments if they knew his back story. I try to keep that in mind, but it’s just so damn tacky.
So this post is dedicated to NBA fans, and Philadelphia 76ers fans in particular.
Don’t know his back story? Let me fill you in right quick. Evan had a rough beginning to his life. He had so many incidents and medical issues in his early years. Consider this short passage from ESPN:
A strapping 10-pound baby at birth, Turner had chicken pox, pneumonia, asthma and measles before he celebrated a birthday. When a measles epidemic swept through Chicago in the winter of 1989, Iris found her baby so ill he couldn’t even cry. She called a doctor who, presumably figuring she was exaggerating, suggested she come to the office. Guided instead by her mother’s instincts, Iris took him to the emergency room.
“Doctors took one look at him and just took him away,” Iris said. “They had tubes and machines and everything there in a second. He nearly died.”
Turner survived the measles but had severe breathing problems. Surgery to remove his adenoids and tonsils eventually eased the struggles, but for the first year of his life, Turner slept on his mother’s chest every night because when she put him on his back in his crib, he would almost stop breathing.
Continuing through his Job-like childhood, Turner survived being hit by a car as a 3-year-old (his mother saw him flip in the air and land on his head, but Turner walked away with just a concussion and stitches).
Oh, but there’s more…
He also struggled to speak as a toddler. Saddled with oversize baby teeth and a difficult overbite, he was capable of talking, but only his older brother, Darius, could understand him. Even Iris would turn to Darius for interpretation and translation from the boy who called her “Bobba” because he couldn’t say “Momma.”
“I don’t know what he would have done without Darius,” Iris said of her two boys’ special bond.
Intense speech therapy helped Turner, but the sting of special classes and the frustration of not being understood left Turner reserved and insecure. “I’d be yelling, ‘Darius, what does he want? What does he want?’ and poor Evan would get so frustrated, he’d say, “Oh, nebber minb [mimicking the way Turner spoke].”
Still got jokes?
And no, he is not deaf. I’ve seen quite a few people asking that.
Just want people to keep that in mind next time they’re ready to go in on Evan Turner’s voice. He’s going to be a force in the NBA, so learn the story, spread it, and get used to hearing him speak!
S/O: Did y’all peep Evan’s NBA debut in his Orlando summer league game tonight? He had almost as many rebounds as points. Should sound familiar to us Buckeye fans. He was also rocking Scarlet shoes. Once a Buckeye…
Postgame interview after you jump!