Over the years in the history of the NBA, we have seen many personnel talking smack to bully the opposition. Many consider them as the best NBA trash talkers. The fact is they want to get into the opponent’s head. As a result, the opponents get distracted for a while, and eventually they make a mistake. By doing this, they are tactically thrown off their natural game.
You may say trash talking does happen in every other sport too. Here is the thing. The physical nature of the game, face to face interactions, crowd chants, one on one battles, feuds have taken trash talking in basketball into a whole new level of magnitude.
Many say that’s an art, which you need to learn to give your opposition a headache to deal with. Yeah these trash talks should also remain on the court. Nobody should therefore take it personally. Off the court you all should act like true gentlemen. But at the heat of the moment, sometimes these verbal confrontation had gone too far to overlook. So, fans get to see a few glimpses of these trash talks.
Table of Contents
- List of 15 best trash talkers in NBA history
- 1. Larry Bird
- (To Chuck Pearson after saying he was going bird hunting): "Merry f….ing Christmas"
- 2. Michael Jordan
- 3. Gary Payton
- 4. Reggie Miller
- 5. Kobe Bryant
- 6. Draymond Green
- 7. Kevin Garnett
- 8. Charles Barkley
- 9. Allen Iverson
- 10. Shaquille O’Neal
- 11. Charles Oakley
- 12. Rashed Wallace
- 13. Paul Pierce
- 14. John Starks
- 15. Scottie Pippen
List of 15 best trash talkers in NBA history
Therefore, we are here presenting to you some of the incredible smack talkings in the history of NBA. Without any doubt these names are the all time greatest trash talkers in the NBA:
1. Larry Bird
Boy, wasn’t he a master of mental games? This 6’9’’ curly hair guy exploited trash talks in some fashion indeed.
The fascinating part of him was he used to tell his opponents what exactly he was going to do. Later then he executed them.
(To The Mavs): "I’m gonna stand right here. I’m not going to move. They’ll pass me the ball, the next sound you hear will be the ball hitting the bottom of the net"
(To Dominique Wilkins): "You don’t belong in this league, Homes"
(To chuck Daily): "Who is guarding me, chuck? Is anyone guarding me? You better get someone on me or I’m gonna go for 60"
(To Xavier Mcdaniel): "I’m gonna get the ball right here and I’m gonna shoot it in your face"
(To Chuck Pearson after saying he was going bird hunting): "Merry f….ing Christmas"
(To Dr. J): "You know I’m gonna shoot right there ya know? And 42-6"
2. Michael Jordan
He may not be as good as Larry Bird in terms of trash talk, yet he was pretty close.
(MJ to Dikembe Mutombo after he hits a free throw with closed eyes): "This one’s for you"
(To Craig Ehlo): "I am gonna tell you what I’m gonna do this time and see if you can stop it"
(To Reggie Miller): "You sure, be careful, you never talk to black Jesus like that"
Larry Miller once to MJ after he dunked on Stockton: "Pick on somebody your own size. Then Jordan after dunking on 7’1’’ Mel Turpin: Is he big enough for you?"
(To Robert Parrish): "I am gonna kick your ass"
(To Mugsy Bogues): "Shoot it, you f…ing midget"
(To Charles Barkley): "You got no chance today and you never will"
3. Gary Payton
He was someone who would constantly talk to the opposition. Teammates would say ”You can’t shut up Gary”. Even Shaquille O’Neal rates Gary Payton as the best trash talkers in NBA history.
(To Pippen): “You are not top 50 all time. You want me to show you my list? I had you at 51"
(To John Stockton): "Paper"
(To Jason Kidd): "You’re not gonna get a shot off today"
(To Jamie Feick): "Man, you won’t even in the league next year"
(To Portland Trailblazers): "I can do anything I want out here, boy"
(To Sidney Lowe): "Sit down you smurf!"
(To a Sacramento heckler): "You’re paying to see me"
4. Reggie Miller
Nowadays often athletes mimick the infamous choke sign. Guess from where they get to know about this move. Yes, you’re right. Reggie Miller once taunted Knicks Superfan Spike lee.
(To the Davis boys): "You guys just set screens. I’m gonna make everything"
5. Kobe Bryant
Not just his opponents even his teammates had to face the music played by Kobe Bryant. He used to carrying all out battle against opposition.
(To a Mavs heckler telling him he sucked): "Can you count?"
Ron Artest said to Kobe that he was not ready. Then kobe said “ You’re a stand up comedian now?” (Kobe then had 38 pts, 6 assists, 5 rebounds)
(To Jammie Foxx sometime before 2010): "One day, you’ll choke on my fifth ring"
(To Kd and James Harden): "May be one day they’ll be able to sit at the lunch table"
(To Uncle Drew): "You really think you can beat me one on one? Are you crazy?"
(Kobe to His Teammates): "Soft like charmin"
6. Draymond Green
This guy already has developed a reputation for wilderness. He is also considered as a modern day king of trash talking.
(To LeBron): "B*tch/ F***boi!"
(To Paul Fierce in his final season): "They don’t love you like that. You thought you was Kobe?"
(To Kevin Garnett): "Bro, you are not scaring anyone"
(To Dennis Smith Jr): "You’ll never dunk on me"
(About 2017 Cavs): "The Cavs didn’t stand a chance! It pissed me off that we didn’t sweep them"
7. Kevin Garnett
KG insulted players so that no one would say a funny thing about the incident at the end of it. He would cross any line. He was so ruthless that even family members were often brought into the equation.
(To Tim Duncan): "Happy Mother’s Day, motherf…."
(To Joahkim Noah): "Fuck you Noah"
8. Charles Barkley
He may be retired now, but that hardly affects his running mouth. He is known to be commenting hilarious things. Often he gives offensive opinions. In his playing days, he had never agreed to back down from a challenge. He even fought toe to toe with players like MJ and Reggie Miller. Once Charles Oakley insulted him on tweeter. Barkley said that he(Oakley) wasn’t important enough for him to think about.
9. Allen Iverson
He is probably one of the strongest, toughest, fittest and worst guys to ever play the game. Though he was not so big in stature, but he never stopped himself to haunt the opposition. Iverson vs Tyron Lue is an iconic moment in NBA history. Then Iverson told Lue after that “Only reason you got that little $5 million a year is from running around after me”
10. Shaquille O’Neal
If you are talking about the most lovable sportsperson, Shaquille O’Neal will definitely come in that list. But if you‘re a true basketball fan, you might have seen some dark side of him too on the court. However, he tried to keep everything in a funny way. He insulted by turning an opposition team’s player name into a woman’s name. For e.g Ericka instead of Erick, Laura instead of Lawrence, or Sacramento queens instead of Kings. Even he said once “I’m not worried about the Sacramento Queens. Write it down. Take a picture, send it to them, I don’t care"
11. Charles Oakley
A tough guy indeed. While playing for the Bulls, his team mate was Michael Jordan. Throughout his 19 years of a basketball career, he showed tremendous fighting spirit. Even his gung ho attitude is very much visible after he decided to hang up his boots.
For instance, during a game in 2017 he was thrown out of the madison square garden because he yelled at Knicks owner James Dolan. He then clashed with a former NBA superstar on social media in May 2016. On Twitter, he said “Charles Barkley, you better stop talking s….. about Cleveland you were never tough you hide behind TNT”
12. Rashed Wallace
This guy had built a reputation for his attitude and running mouth. Even, sometimes NBA officials were not spared either from his smack talking. He also trash talked plenty to his fellow NBA players.
NBA record of most number of technical fouls in one season with 41, he holds most career technical fouls and most ejection in one season. Once after just playing 1:25s in a game he was ejected. One of the trash talks off him is still a classic. Whenever someone from opposition would miss a free throw, he felt that penalty was completely injustice to them and he always would yell “Ball doesn’t lie”
13. Paul Pierce
If you talk about some cold blooded killers on the basketball court, Paul Pierce ranks really high on this list. Once, he drilled a three in AL Harrington’s face after jawing in his face for 10 seconds. Even he was seen talking loudly to LeBron James during a game in the year after his retirement. One of the post-game interviews created some kind of hype.
A Reporter asked Pierce: "Did you call bank on that shot?"
Pierce Reply: "I called game"
14. John Starks
This tough, no nonsense guy would stand firm against anyone, irrespective of how much smaller he was compared to them. His body language somehow reflected the attitude, intensity of the New York Knick of 1990s. You may never forget Reggie Miller for some hilarious trash talking in the game between Pacers and Knicks. Starks also was not too far behind. He also made a name for himself on those feuds.
(To Reggie Miller about his highly accomplished sister): “Cheryl!”
15. Scottie Pippen
On his team, Bules, people might not call him the biggest trash talker of the game, but he used it to its great effect. He knew exactly when to open his mouth and, most importantly, how to make it count just like he did by tearing down Larry Johnson fiercely.
(To Karl in the 1997 NBA finals): "The mailman"
(To Kirl): “The mailman does not deliver on Sundays”. He said this right after when Malone missed free throws and it was a crucial moment to the outcome of the game.
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