Getting in your opponent’s head is an important part of domination on the basketball court. You might be able to shoot at a high level, but it might pale in comparison to the ability to deal chatter and throw the opposing player off their game. Today’s trash talk seems a little more physical, especially with guys like James Harden pinching people, but there are still a few who are keeping it alive. One is Draymond Green and he goes into the mindset of a trash talker alongside a true legend of psychological warfare on the court: Gary Payton.
While Green has plenty of baggage being dragged behind his character season to season, he also knows his strengths during a game. He tells Payton that he’s never trying to be a distraction to the team, but always wants to distract the opposing side. It’s likely earned him a certain reputation, especially with today’s game. It’s far different from when Payton was playing — at least it is according to him — and there were far more trash talkers running around during that period.
Michael Jordan, despite the underwhelming representation in these clips, was a notorious trash talker during his prime, while Reggie Miller famously went after the Knicks and Spike Lee during the NBA Playoffs in 1994. Not to mention guys like Charles Barkley, Kevin Garnett, Shaq, and even Larry Bird — as mentioned by Payton — all dumped trash while playing. It’s really no wonder most of those guys went on to talk for a living on TNT or ESPN.
Anyway, both clips are embedded and an enjoyable look at a prime aspect of the game that isn’t covered in the statistics. Also, a nice way to spend a break during the playoffs.