Tag: trash talk


Kendrick Perkins does not like Tyson Chandler


Kendrick Perkins is something of a throwback player. In addition to being perhaps the best post defender in the NBA, Perkins is what some might call an “enforcer.” He gets the most out of each one of his fouls, is the admitted master of the moving screen that doesn’t look like a moving screen, never, ever smiles on the court, and isn’t afraid to get into a confrontation with somebody that doesn’t like his physical brand of play.

In the Western Conference Finals, Perkins is lined up against Mavericks Center Tyson Chandler, who is also a banger, and the two only took 70 seconds to get into each other’s faces in game one, resulting in a double-technical. After the game, Perkins confirmed that he has something against Chandler:

“Me and Tyson never got along. I’m serious,” said Perkins, whom the Thunder acquired in a trade deadline deal with the Boston Celtics. “He don’t like me, I don’t like him and that’s pretty much how it’s been. Everybody always looks at me as kind of like a dirty player if you’re on the opposite team, but he’s just as dirty as anybody else.”

Chandler, for his part, seems to just want to play basketball:

“I have nothing against him,” Chandler said of Perkins. “He won a championship with the Boston Celtics, and that’s where I’m trying to take my team. I mean, I’ve got respect for him, what he was able to accomplish. But all the chippy stuff, the after-the-ball stuff, that’s all nonsense and I’m not going to get involved with it.”

Both Chandler and Perkins gave their team a much-needed injection of interior defense and physicality after they were acquired in the off-season and at the deadline, respectively. Now they’re going up against each other in the conference finals, and their battle in the trenches may end up being nearly as important as what Nowitzki and Durant end up doing. Well, maybe not nearly as important. But still pretty important. And there’s some bad blood behind it as well. The battle between the two centers will be something to watch as this series continues to play out.

Irony alert: Player calls Garnett “coward” in anonymous column

Kevin Garnett

I love the premise of this article — there is not enough trash talk in the NBA.

It’s part of ESPN’s “Player X” series where some athletes in different sports get to spout off anonymously on whatever topic they want. And this time around an NBA player — clearly a veteran — complains about the lack of good trash talk in the NBA.

He blames AAU, Europeans and the referees for this. But then he gets personal and takes a shot at Boston’s Kevin Garnett calling him a punk and a coward.

Trash-talk can go too far fast, though, so there is a code. Off-limit topics: moms, wives, girlfriends, kids. And health. Honestly, I never thought anyone would cross the line to crack on an opponent about a medical condition. But according to Charlie Villanueva, that’s what Kevin Garnett supposedly did earlier this season when he called the Pistons forward a “cancer patient.” Garnett later claimed otherwise, saying he had called Villanueva — who’s hairless because of a skin condition — a “cancerous” player.

I don’t know who’s telling the truth, but I don’t care. Garnett is a punk and a coward. I know, I know. Easy for me to say behind this column. Don’t worry, I’ll tell him to his face, too. And I’m not the only one who thinks that: If you’re not on his team, chances are you hate the guy. You can learn a lot about him by watching his eyes. If he’s talking to you — and he’s always talking — he avoids eye contact. My advice to other guys in the league: Stare him down, and he’ll retreat. From what I’ve seen, he’ll never mix it up with a player who’s bigger than he is. Personally, I think he’s scared to fight — like a playground bully who barks but doesn’t bite.

Calling KG a coward in an anonymous column is ironic. And a little sad. Even if he does own up to it.

But these kind of thoughts about Garnett — that he is really a playground bully who picks on smaller players or ones who will not push back — have been around a long time. They are almost conventional wisdom around the league. You don’t see KG getting in Dwight Howard’s face, or Ron Artest’s. It’s more like J.J. Barea.

Player X also smacks LeBron James for just being bad at trash talk. He says the Celtics by and large are good at it, and the Lakers have Kobe Bryant and Artest who are very good at it. He tries to draw a line from trash talk to winning.

It’s interesting, if you can you should go read he whole thing. And enjoy the irony.

Nobody understands Hedo Turkoglu’s trash talk

Denver Nuggets v Phoenix Suns
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Hedo Turkoglu is one of the NBA’ talkers — the guys who have a constant stream of trash talk going during a game.

Except, nobody understands what Turkoglu is saying.

Rashard Lewis talked about it with the Orlando Sentinel yesterday after the Magic blew Turkoglu’s Suns out of the building.

“He was talking noise, talking a little smack,” Lewis said. “You can barely understand what he’s saying, but he’s saying something.”

Turk’s trash talk is a mix of English, Turkish and jibberish. Dwight Howard said it’s difficult to keep a straight face when Turkoglu gets going, especially in a game like Thursday.

“It’s like mumble, mumble, mumble basket, mumble, mumble, mumble ball,” Howard said, sort of. “It kind of confuses you as much as anything.”

Trash talk works really well when you are Kevin Garnett or Kobe Bryant or legendary smack talkers like Larry Bird — you know, guys that backed it up. Turkoglu was 0-8 from the floor against the Magic.

Winderman: Villanueva violated “keep it on the court” code

Kevin Garnett

For a moment, let’s move past the Big C, because that part of this Kevin Garnett debate is reprehensible, if uttered in any context.

Instead consider something a bit more germane to these sports pages.

And that’s Part B.

Charlie Villanueva violated a prime tenet of the game and well could find himself receiving a shunning of a different type than Kevin Garnett certainly now faces from the public at large.

As a rule, what is said on the court stays on the court, accepted in a heat-of-the-moment context. It is similar to the what-happens-in-the-locker-room-stays-in-the-locker-room tenet that is at the core of the fraternity of pro sports, a covenant more sacred than any Vegas commercial.

Think you’ve heard it all from Gary Payton over the years? You haven’t heard the half of it. Ditto with Garnett. Until now.

That is what made Villanueva’s moment so rare, his tweets so surprising.

This wasn’t an opponent planning to carry out a threat, break a body part, meet someone in the parking lot.

It was Kevin Garnett raging, because that is his fuel, no matter how crude, no matter how inappropriate.

Michael Beasley got his earful during last season’s playoffs.

“He misses a shot, he makes a shot, he misses a rebound, blocks a shot, everything he does, he just talks to himself,” Beasley said, “whether he’s congratulating himself or he’s hollering at himself. He really stays on top of himself.”

During that opening round series, after teammate Dwyane Wade had dunked on Garnett, Beasley tried to turn the conversation. Bad idea.

“I told him what just happened,” Beasley said, “and he was mad. You could really see the fire in his eyes, you could hear him talking to himself.”

Because that’s all it is, mindless babble, in this case truly mindless, no matter which version of the story is to be believed.

Better a million stupid thoughts there than an act that injures.

But now we’ve been provided entrée into the on-court blather.

The curtain has been drawn open.

Now, what happens on the court has entered into the public forum.

Whether it’s a place we want to be or not.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/IraHeatBeat.

Kevin Garnett talks trash. The league should do nothing about it.

Orlando Magic v Boston Celtics, Game 4

If you’ve ever sat near the court for a Kevin Garnett Celtics game, you know this — the man talks a lot of trash. A lot. Some genuinely nasty, personal stuff. He uses it to intimidate and to fire himself up.

Charlie Villanueva thought KG crossed the line last night and called him on it, tweeting that Garnett called him a “cancer patient” during the Celtics thumping of Detroit last night. We don’t know if Garnett actually said that, he and the Celtics have yet to comment. But if you’ve heard KG on the court, it is believable.

Villanueva suffers from alopecia universalis, a condition that includes total body hair loss. He does a lot of charity work on behalf of those with the condition.

Plus, cancer is an area that should be off limits. KG is a quality person and leader who has another persona on the court. Some, such as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo call him a bully once he steps onto the hardwood. However you choose to describe him, KG is going to get backlash for this, as he should. He should pay a price.

But that price should not be from the league. There can be no fine or suspension from the league office.

Technically they could — there can be fines or a suspension, and there are some fans and people out there calling for that right now.

But what Garnett is a vocal practitioner of is common in the NBA. Guys get on each other. Hard. Mountains of trash talk fly around an on an NBA court. It is vicious and nothing is sacred — questioning manhood, family and everything else goes on. Nightly. And has for generations — Michael Jordan was ruthless with his mouth just like his game. Same with Larry Bird. And so on and so on…

If you fine or suspend Garnett for this comment, you are on a slippery slope. A derogatory term for homosexuals gets used during games often, is that worthy of a fine every time? Curse words? Only when a referee hears it?

If you thought the new technical foul enforcement was ludicrous, this would dwarf it with problems. Trash talk takes place on playground courts, high school gyms and the YMCA. Guys grew up doing it. Then they get to the NBA and have to be saints?

There was a time when this could be enforced on the court. When Villanueva or a team’s designated enforcer could inflict some physical pain on Garnett for these antics, and said enforcer would get tossed for the game for it. And that was all. So teams had enforcers. Now the fines and suspensions make that kind of retribution impossible.

Trash talk is part of the game. You don’t have to like it. But you can’t fine and suspend for it, not even over-the-line comments about cancer.