INDIANAPOLIS–Indiana Pacers forward Myles Turner has grown accustomed to receiving trash talk from fans through social media, but a new experience created an exchange that led to him donating money to help people struggling with the recent winter storm in Texas.
After the Pacers lost in overtime to the Chicago Bulls on Feb. 15 120-112, a fan requested $100 from Turner through Venmo, a mobile payment service, blaming him for the loss.
Turner ignored the first request, but then the fan requested the money two more times.
“That kind of did it for me. I thought, ‘Okay, I’ll play along with this.’ So I Venmo’d him a penny. I said, ‘Here’s a penny for your thoughts,” said Turner. “I’ve had a lot of people talk their fair share of crap at me, whether it’s Instagram, Twitter, Facebook. I have never seen anybody have the audacity to talk mess through Venmo, like, a financial app. So that was ridiculous to me. I thought it was hilarious”
Turner’s response to the fan made their transaction public on Venmo. After other fans saw what happen, they began sending Turner pennies. Others sent more.
“All those pennies [and] two cents in a matter of three or four hours added up to $230 just like that,” he said, adding that he and his friend decided to flip the small fortune into a fundraiser to help storm victims in Texas.
Turner is from Bedford, Texas.
“It just kind of hit home to me because it was my people,” Turner said. “It was people that are going through a lot. I’ve spent a lot of time in San Antonio, I obviously went to the University of Texas down in Austin, I have a lot of family in Houston. I know people are going through a lot and I just wanted to do whatever I could to help.”
On Monday morning, Turner revealed that fans had donated $25,395.86. Both he and the NBPA matched that total bringing the total amount raised to $76,187.58.