Gary Payton Calls Himself a Bigger Trash Talker Than Michael Jordan and Larry Bird

Published 03/07/2021, 11:30 AM EST
OAKVILLE, ONTARIO, CANADA – JULY 20: Five-time NBA MVP Michael Jordan smokes a cigar after hitting to the seventh green during the RBC Canadian Open’s Mike Weir Charity Classic Pro-Am at Glen Abbey Golf Club on July 20, 2009 in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)


Some might say trash-talking makes the game more ugly, but let’s not forget how much it fuels players to do better. In fact, the popular opinion is that it is more entertaining and many legends of the NBA have been participants in it. Michael Jordan, Rasheed Wallace, Reggie Miller, Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, and Kevin Garnett are some of the names that everyone has heard. However, Gary Payton thinks the greatest one to date is him.

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Better trash talker than Michael Jordan?

Let’s make this clear that Gary Payton had a rap sheet of his own. Known as ‘The Glove’ for his defensive prowess, he was the type of trash-talker that just wouldn’t stop trying to shut his rival. In fact, they felt more like angry monologues and even his teammates sometimes used to get overwhelmed by this habit.

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Therefore, he agrees that there are other players who knew exactly how to put their opponents down, but nobody did it like he did. He said, “Basically Larry Bird was really marvelous. Reggie Miller could do it a lot, Michael would do a lot of things too but you really had to get him going. But the greatest one is me. Rasheed Wallace was good, but he was doing it at the refs.”

The other trash-talkers beside Gary Payton

Only Rasheed Wallace was the power forward who was expected to bring reattach the ‘Bad Boys’ tag to the Detroit Pistons. However, he had his own share of problems with the referees. He did not fear bickering with the officials and took getting evicted quite lightly. In fact, what made his trash-talking great was that he looked hysterical while doing it.

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There was Larry Bird, whose competitive nature compelled him to put other players in their place. He used to tell defenders exactly how he was going to shoot and manage to do it anyway, insulting them. He was one of those who didn’t seem like they would trash-talk but that’s what made him great at it.

Although Reggie Miller used to go the extra mile and even making choking gestures to talk others down. And does Michael Jordan really even need an introduction? All these players have been brutal, and if today, somebody spoke the way they did, there would no end to criticism.

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Read also- Gary Payton Responds to Michael Jordan Laughing at Him During ‘The Last Dance’ Documentary

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Yashima Bhatia

1122 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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