Upon realizing NBA Open Court was basically Inside The NBA for the offseason, life has been a much better as a result. Just like Inside, the show is completely void of a script; instead it’s Ernie Johnson playing his usual role of moderator allowing the team of Kenny, Chuck, Shaq, Steve Kerr, Reggie Miller, Chris Webber and Steve Smith to basically have a free-for-all discussion about whatever. One of the best was this 10-minute clip centered around trash-talking.
Anyone who has ever played basketball – whether organized or at the park – can attest to how ingrained the art of getting under an opponent’s skin is. For the crew here, this segment was as a basketball geek’s buffet line of stories of their favorite players and what was said in their element away from sponsors and microphones. Sir Charles runs through my favorite Larry Bird narrative dealing with an All Star Game three point contest while C-Webb tells a brief, but entertaining Shaq and George Muresan tale. And of course, a segment of this ilk wouldn’t be complete without rehashing Reggie’s tussles with John Starks and the New York Knicks. Not much more needs to be aside from that because the guys tell it all.
Today’s game is still awesome, but unfortunately trash-talking these days comes with a fine, double technical and possible felony. Somehow, this is all Ben Wallace’s fault.*
Previously: Dear David Stern, Stare Downs Aren’t Worth Techs
* – I can’t say the “Malice At The Palace” was the exact reason, but it definitely played a large part in the game’s “makeover.” Nevermind, yes I can. Between that and the dress code implementation in 2005, the NBA “de-thugified” itself literally in the blink of an eye.