Great trash talkers have rings. That’s according to the NBA player responsible for ESPN’s “Player X” column. While basketball is a game of skill, the mental aspects are equally as important. (See Coach Phil Jackson as example A.)
The crux of his argument is that the league is sucking the passion out of the game (and the influx of non-confrontational Euro players.) I guess I spent to much time at open gym listening to guys one up each other while they hit J’s in their face to disagree.
It often confuses me that leagues encourage fans to be rabid, promote rivalries but then expect their players to act vanilla in the games. Where’s the fun in that? Is there a limit? Absolutely but, a slight mental edge adds to the intensity which adds to the excitement. Which explains why I don’t enjoy Spurs games. Fundamentally sound but dull. I’m secretly hoping the Grizzlies take the series even though I picked the Spurs. :shrug:
Check what “Player X” had to say about Kobe and the Lakers, LeBron James, Paul Pierce and a few of your other playoff favorites:
The Lakers aren’t as good at it, but the defending champs have an edge over most other teams because Kobe can talk with the best of them while he lights you up and Ron Artest is just weird. One reason he’s a great defender is he’ll get way too close and whisper in your ear.
The things that make all of these guys good talkers — passion, a mean streak — are what also make them great basketball players. Not surprisingly, some of the quietest guys happen to be ringless. Chris Bosh, for one, never says a word. LeBron? Even when he does talk, he’s terrible at it.
Want to get to “The King” and some other prime-time players? Here’s one man’s go-to material: Drop a “you’re riding coattails” on LeBron or remind him he bailed on the Cavs to buy a ring. Mention Dwight Howard’s J — or lack of one; it never fails to piss him off. Call Kobe a fake Jordan. (Just beware you may get posterized for the rest of the game.) Don’t bother with Tim Duncan; dude can’t hear a thing and never gets rattled. But feel free to remind Tony Parker that “Eva is fine”; wives are over the line, but not exes. Tell Pierce his one ring was all luck. Then have one of your bigger guys step to KG.
I’m not surprised LeBron doesn’t talk trash. You can tell he lacks that edge. That’s where Dwyane Wade comes into play. LeBron might be the most talented athlete but in the 4th quarter with 2 minutes left, I’m riding with DWade (don’t believe me, think about game one of the Heat vs. Sixers series.)
Like Pretty Tony said in “The Mack”, “You gotta get these B*%#hes’ minds man.” I believe it.