Much more widespread in the old days, trash-talking is still maintained today in the NBA thanks to a few irreducible loudmouths. But according to several players, one of them would use this practice… towards herself!
Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Gary Payton, Kevin Garnett : all were like masters in this ancestral art. For several decades, many NBA legends have presented the science of trash-talking in their panoply of players. However, in recent years, strong verbal exchanges have tended to disappear in the league, giving way to more subtle chambering.
Observing this transformation, Tim MacMahon decided to devote a paper to him on the site ofESPN. With the testimonies of Jimmy Butler, Joe Ingles, Trae Young, Damian Lillard or even PJ Tucker, the journalist tries to decipher the new subtleties of this intimidation technique, still loved by a plethora of players. However, each has its own variation, sometimes surprising.
The confusing trash-talking of Russell Westbrook
When some will favor small dances, or simple humiliating gestures towards their opponents, Russell Westbrook would call on trash-talk… to give yourself a good boost!
And then there’s Westbrook, who many players call the league’s most tireless trash-talker. His reasons? Self-motivation, assume the players.
Former Russ teammate in Houston, PJ Tucker agrees 100% with this hypothesis.
I saw it when we played together; he spoke badly to boost himself with each game. It has nothing to do with you. You are just one person among many others. You’re just the evening guy. Who you are or what you’ve done doesn’t matter. You are the guy and he is going to talk badly to you.
Opponent and rival of Westbrook for many years, Damian Lillard also thinks that he is not the real target of Brodie when the latter uses NSFW language in front of him. Its formulation to explain this particularity nevertheless turns out to be much less flattering!
Lillard, who has had his fair share of court battles with Westbrook, put it differently.
« I think he talks to himself on the pitch, » he said.
At least, if the 2017 MVP were to isolate himself in the Lakers locker room following his poor performance at the moment, he will always have someone to talk to in the field!
Often reassembled on the NBA floors, Russell Westbrook would not spit his anger on his opponents, but rather… on him. His silence in the jersey of the Lakers can therefore perhaps explain his difficulties on the spot!