There aren’t many players who can yap at an opponent on the court like Kevin Garnett. Even non-basketball fans know about the Honey Nut Cheerios rumor with Carmelo Anthony and the ensuing verbal fracas after the game. Although it was later revealed to be a total fabrication, KG had been jawing at guys like he’s got a perpetual stick of gum in his mouth for years before that night. But when ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk asked KG for his own top three trash talkers, one of the names he dropped was a big surprise.
[RELATED: The Top 20 Trash Talkers in NBA History]
First, KG mentioned two all-time smack talkers: Gary Payton and Michael Jordan. When the two were on the court, the lips were gonna be wagging and they were gonna be trying to one-up each other with verbal slings and arrows on top of whatever transpired on the hardwood.
And for the record, the Sonics finally came to play in the 1996 Finals when Glove stopped yapping at MJ long enough for his Supersonics — RIP — to win two games after dropping the first three in that series.
Anyways, back to KG. He told ESPN that the third guy on his top 3 list was Hakeem Olajuwon, the 6-11 Nigerian-American and two-time NBA Finals MVP was purportedly one of the nicest, most gracious guys in the game. Hell, it seems like everyone and their brother works out with the Dream in the offseason in the hope his stellar footwork — he credits all the soccer he played in his native Nigeria for that — rubs off on them. But, KG says he wasn’t one to shy away from a verbal altercation even with a mouthguard:
But then Garnett offered up a third trash-talker -– one you might not have suspected.
“And, believe it or not,” Garnett said, “Hakeem Olajuwon.”
“The Dream” talking smack?
“Yeah, man,” Garnett replied. “And he played with a mouthpiece.”
And you could still understand him?
“I definitely could hear it, articulate it, understand it, comprehend it,” Garnett said. “Yeah. Hell yeah.”
“He was a nightmare some nights, man,” Garnett later added.
The GOAT agrees, including Olajuwon along with Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen and — his fellow UNC alum — James Worthy as the teammates he’d most want on his team:
One person who is probably nodding their head if they read Garnett’s comments is David Robinson, who suffered through a humiliating 1995 Western Conference Finals when Olajuwon owned him after The Admiral has been named the regular season MVP that season.
As surprising as Dream’s inclusion was on Garnett’s list, we still think Glove and the GOAT are our personal favorites. I mean…
Just look at the death stare MJ gives Glove…
And Payton’s condescending smirk in response…
Man, we freakin’ love this game.
Which smack talkers should KG have included?
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