, Newburyport, MA


January 4, 2013

Art of trash talking nearly extinct in NBA


“My trash talking happens when I’m angry, so it doesn’t always make sense,” he says. “It’s kind of like throwing a couple different curse words together that don’t really make sense. . . . I love trash talking. I don’t mind paying those fines.”

The consensus is players like Bryant and Garnett get away with it more than others because they have that reputation and are sort of grandfathered in. The alternative, Walton said, would be to give them technicals every game. Bryant has three technicals this season, and Garnett has two. Not all of them are necessarily for trash talking.

When the last of those mouths retire, it will likely mark the end of an era in the NBA. When Bryant sits in his rocking chair alongside the rest of the greats like Charles Barkley, Michael Jordan, John Stockton and Clyde Drexler, the league will get a lot quieter.

In the video featuring Irving and Bryant, which has been viewed more than four million times, Irving tells Bryant: “You have to guard me. You’re not going to lock me up.” Later, Irving throws his arms up, looks in the camera and shouts, “He thinks he’s talking to a high school kid.”

Bryant, off camera, immediately fires back, “You just came out of high school, kid!”

“I’m the best trash talker alive,” Bryant says. “(Irving) tried to keep up. Hopefully you’ll see a little more of that from that generation, guys competing against each other. It was like then when I came into the league with Charles and Michael and Stockton and Drexler and all those guys. That’s how it was.”

But that’s not how it is. The art of the trash talk is nearly extinct.


©2013 Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)

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