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Old 09-02-2017, 12:44 PM
 
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Is trash talking a lost art in the NBA? With KG, Kobe, Metta World Peace and Paul Pierce all retired now, it seems like the last generation of big trash talkers is gone. Unless Matt Barnes is still playing?

I miss that aspect of the NBA. At one point Kobe indicated it was borderline irritating to him that LeBron wouldn't respond to Kobe's trash talk. In Kob's opinion, the relationships players of this generation have built through AAU probably makes them closer to one another than were previous generations of players.

To his credit LeBron did bark at Steph Curry in the '16 Finals after blocking his shot. It wasn't too convincing though, because Bron turned the other way as he did it. It looked like he was hedging his bets, saying something to get it off his chest, but still turning away quickly in case Steph was ready to make an issue of it. If I were Steph I might have laughed at him, told him to "face me when you trash talk me, do it with conviction..." or something like that.

I think the closest thing we have to a decent trash-talker among star players in the league today is Kevin Durant. He's not savage about it, but he doesn't let put-downs go unanswered either. When the Thunder players were giving them everything they had last season, he dropped bucket after bucket and let them know about it. That was pretty neat.

Westbrook talks trash too, but it's a little different. I don't think he has fun with it. He just gets irritated by hecklers and tells them to shut the f*#! up. I love how savage Westbrook is in general, but I don't think he's very witty.

But what about the days when the league was full of trash-talkers? You could put together an all-time trash talking team full of guys who played more or less at the same time: Charles Barkley, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Michael Jordan, Reggie Miller, Gary Payton, etc.

Gary Payton was one of the best trash-talkers.

When the media asked Gary Payton why he dared talk trash to Michael Jordan after one of the Sonics' 1996 NBA Finals losses to the Bulls, he retorted MJ would go off even when GP didn't talk, so what difference did it make? I love that kind of fearlessness. Why be scared to talk to a guy who's going to score 40 points on you either way?

But Larry Legend is in a class by himself, the trash-talking GOAT. In the oddest of compliments, MJ said Larry Bird talked "good trash, not dirty trash". Byron Scott gave an example of Bird's hilarious style:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2iyF5dgiIo

Here's story after story of Bird doing his thing:

33 Incredible Larry Bird Trash Talk Stories That Prove Why He's The Best Trash Talker of All Time! - Viral Hoops

What do you guys think? Who's your all-time trash talking team? Why does there seem to be less trash talking now? And who's the trash-talking GOAT?
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Old 09-02-2017, 01:38 PM
 
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Didn't the NBA start going hard at cleaning up its image a while back (Palace fight)? Seems like players are more connected now which allows them to be friends during the season and offseason. Back in 80s and 90s, players would have to make an effort to communicate with each other...phone calls/fly out to see each other. But yeah, good trash talkers are entertaining. Would Rodman be considered a form of trash talking?
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Old 09-02-2017, 02:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eddiehaskell View Post
Didn't the NBA start going hard at cleaning up its image a while back (Palace fight)? Seems like players are more connected now which allows them to be friends during the season and offseason. Back in 80s and 90s, players would have to make an effort to communicate with each other...phone calls/fly out to see each other. But yeah, good trash talkers are entertaining. Would Rodman be considered a form of trash talking?
Good point, I do think the league got pretty image-conscious and changed some things. Now referees seem to shut the talking down earlier in games than they did before. Plus suspensions for things getting out-of-hand got pretty severe after the "Malice at the Palace".

And I don't know if I'd consider Rodman a trash-talker or not. He's a character, that's for sure. One funny thing about him a lot of people don't know was he almost never spoke to his teammates. Plenty of his teammates corroborate this. He said in the years the Bulls completed their second three-peat, he never had a conversation with Michael and Scottie off the basketball court. He followed up by saying he and Scottie have been cool after the fact. He didn't say anything about his relationship with Michael Jordan. LOL.
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Old 09-02-2017, 08:45 PM
 
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I think it's pretty cool that players didn't even need to speak to Rodman. No need to coddle him, try to be friendly, worry about his feelings or attempt to build chemistry...just unleash him on the court and let him do his thing. Sometimes you may get a little annoyed by techs but overall you know he's going to be a big plus. He went all out despite other players basically having nothing to do with him...a lot of players wouldn't be mentally strong enough for that.
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Old 09-03-2017, 03:40 PM
 
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I've never heard of anyone approaching Birds level of Trash talking.

I know Barkly, MJ and some others love to jaw too but Bird is IMO the GOAT at it and there is nobody even remotely close.

Reggie Miller was up there too.
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Old 09-03-2017, 04:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mathguy View Post
Reggie Miller was up there too.
Reggie was hilarious. He'd talk smack to anybody, and he didn't care what the score was. A couple of times he even made me nervous, going at big guys like Derrick Coleman. I'd be watching like, "Whoa Reggie, be careful. That guy's three times bigger than you are, and he doesn't seem to realize this is all in fun." lol.
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dallasgoldrush View Post
Reggie was hilarious. He'd talk smack to anybody, and he didn't care what the score was. A couple of times he even made me nervous, going at big guys like Derrick Coleman. I'd be watching like, "Whoa Reggie, be careful. That guy's three times bigger than you are, and he doesn't seem to realize this is all in fun." lol.
Indeed. Good memories.

I'd love to watch a 30 minute video of him and his sister playing 1 on 1 when he was about 18-19 with full audio lmao.
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Old 09-04-2017, 12:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mathguy View Post
I've never heard of anyone approaching Birds level of Trash talking.

I know Barkly, MJ and some others love to jaw too but Bird is IMO the GOAT at it and there is nobody even remotely close.

Reggie Miller was up there too.
Perhaps stating the obvious, but Bird's trash talk is on another level because he was arguably the best player and a WHITE GUY (a "hick" at that) playing a sport where about 90% of his competition was black. Takes some balls to talk trash and back it up when most of the league is likely gunning for you (for example, Isiah and Rodman's locker room talk about Bird being overrated because he was white).
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Old 09-04-2017, 07:44 AM
 
482 posts, read 251,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiehaskell View Post
Perhaps stating the obvious, but Bird's trash talk is on another level because he was arguably the best player and a WHITE GUY (a "hick" at that) playing a sport where about 90% of his competition was black. Takes some balls to talk trash and back it up when most of the league is likely gunning for you (for example, Isiah and Rodman's locker room talk about Bird being overrated because he was white).
Yeah that was an element of Bird's success as a trash-talker. Race is just a sensitive area, and there was this notion of, "Whoa, the white guy isn't talking, is he?" A lot of guys hated him.

When Bird was in his prime young Spike Lee did a film with an all-black cast where one of the characters called Bird the best player in the NBA. Another character responded, "He's the ugliest motherf*#!er in the NBA." And that turned into a famous line. It's hilarious because, at the time, both lines were probably right. And it kind of summed up the two sides of how a lot of black NBA fans felt about him.

After he retired Bird went so far as to say he would get offended when opposing coaches would assign white players to guard him, because he felt they generally weren't as talented as black players. Whoa. There was just this shock that he was willing to go there.

You could say Bird earned a "hood pass", as in he was one of the few white guys who could go into urban communities and get respect (even from the people who hated him), because he was comfortable with our community, and he was fearless, and he talked a lot of crazy trash, and he backed it up.
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Old 09-04-2017, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Island of Misfit Toys
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Bird for sure, because he backed it up. He was fearless and he was all basketball. His expectation was that everyone else on the court was as well, and a lot were not. So he let 'em have it. When he would talk smack to opponents and say 'DJ's going to light you up', and walk away. That's another level of trash there. Gotta give it to Larry. Reggie Miller is up there as well but he simply wasn't as good at backing it up, plus his sister could light him up. lol
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