Fans heckling players was always a part of any sport, and the NBA isn’t an exception, even though the league nowadays doesn’t allow much heckling from the fans. The players often complained the fans were sometimes getting out of hand, which is much different than 10, 20, or more years ago when players didn’t care and actually embraced the heckling culture to a certain degree. Some used it as motivation against the teams they played against, while some would fold under that pressure for specific reasons.
Current NBA player and the starting center for the Indiana Pacers Myles Turner shared his thoughts about heckling and why it gets him going. Apparently, his mom was the one that instigated a lot of heckling towards him by paying the fans and opposing players to go after her son. According to Turner, she was extremely competitive and wanted her son to face adversity in any way possible because she knew that was one of the ways he could learn to deal with pressure.
When I was in high school, and I didn’t know this until I was out of high school obviously, but my mom used to pay kids from other schools, other teams, fans to come and talk s**t to me during or before games. I had no idea, but it made me play better as a result, and my mom is a very competitive woman, and that is where I get a lot of my drive. She will do whatever it takes to win, and that is the perfect example there.Myles Turner, via The Buster Show Highlights
Turner loves when fans start talking trash to him because he uses that as motivation to play even better. Contrary to popular beliefs, he doesn’t think most players get out of their game after someone starts heckling them from the stands. He even thinks fans who do it have their insecurities that they are projecting outside when they’re talking trash to the opposing players. For Turner, it’s even better when the player that is guarding him starts talking because that motivates him even more, and his main goal is to play even harder than before.
It’s just the fans projecting their own insecurities on other players. It does the adverse effect, it hypes us more than anything. When other players, especially a player that is guarding you or you are guarding them, then it gets a bit more personal. It gets to the point where you just ignore the plays or what the coach is saying because I’m coming at you. On one spectrum, teams try to do that on purpose, trying to get into your head, get you off your game. On the other end, a player like me that makes me better, it makes me want to play harder, so it depends on how you look at it.Myles Turner, via The Buster Show Highlights
Fans heckling players, at least in the NBA, are somewhat a thing of the past because we’ve seen on multiple occasions when the fans would get thrown out of games. Players were the ones that complained about this type of behavior, and even though there will always be those who will trash-talk players, it definitely isn’t on the same level as it was before, when that was a pretty common thing, and players understood that. Many players just like Myles Turner enjoyed that aspect of the game because it brought that extra motivation they needed to get themselves going.