Evan Turner is comfortable. Which may seem like an obvious thing to say about a well-connected, laid-back 27-year-old multimillionaire in jogger pants, but being comfortable isn’t always synonymous with being wealthy. There are undoubtedly plenty of rich people struggling to find comfort, be it in their relationships, professional lives, or just in their own skin. Comfort, it turns out, is often not something that easily falls in our laps. Comfort takes time, maturity, understanding, patience, and sometimes even luck.
And, sure, perhaps having seven-plus figures in the bank and a closet full of designer clothes helps, too.
The Chicago-born Turner walks, talks, and interacts with a comfort level that may not have existed in 2010, when the national college player of the year from (THE) Ohio State University was selected No. 2 overall by the 76ers. Being drafted that early into a maniacal sports city like Philly comes with expectations and extremely public pressure that most humans never have to face, let alone at 21 years old. Today, nearly six years later as we sit in a Boston boutique named Riccardi’s, the 6’7” shooting guard is far from the person and player he was then. He’s coming off arguably the best two seasons of his career. He’s a free agent poised to perhaps double his salary. He’s more openly discussing and pursuing his off-the-court passions. He’s figured some things out.
“You know, as you grow older, you get more comfortable,” he says. “After a while, you just don’t care about what people say or think. I already know who I am, I know what I can do, and whatever I can’t do I’m going to work my best on it.”
Taking criticism in stride is something you get the sense Turner had to learn along the way. The passion to prove doubters wrong still rages, but there’s a level of serenity that probably wasn’t as prevalent when he was the focus of the ire of the venomous Philadelphia sports media.