Facundo Campazzo got thrust into a bigger role than expected as a 30-year-old NBA rookie. With Jamal Murray and Monte Morris missing time due to injury, Campazzo averaged almost 22 minutes a game across 65 games.
What was the hardest part to adjust to? The speed of the NBA game compared to Europe? The athleticism?
No, it was the trash talk Campazzo said in an interview with Argentinian site Caja Negra, with a hat tip to EuroHoop for the translation.
“It [trash talk] is the hardest thing for me, there’s a lot of talk, they rush you. It doesn’t happen that much in the World Cup or the Olympics but in the NBA, it’s [happening] all the time. I’m shooting a 3-pointer from the corner at the side of the opposing team and you hear them say ‘let him shoot, don’t put it in,’ and I think that I can turn around and celebrate it.
“If it goes in, you turn around and you’re the best. But if it doesn’t go in, they get into your head, it’s incredible,” Campazzo added.
Trash talk is a part of the NBA because it’s baked into American basketball culture — there is trash talk on the playground, in pickup run, at 10-year-old’s games. It’s everywhere. It’s something American players are used to.
For some Europeans, such as Campazzo, it takes a little more getting used to. He will be back next season on the Nuggets, the second year of the contract he signed when he came to the NBA, and you can bet he’s going to hear a lot more talk now. NBA trash talk is merciless.