Gary Payton thinks he’s the greatest trash talker in NBA history over the likes of Michael Jordan and Larry Bird, and he explained why.
The Glove is regarded as the greatest defender at the guard position in NBA history by many people. Payton earned 9 All-Defensive First-Team selections through the course of a Hall of Fame career.
The Sonics legend was among those players who grew into their role after a bedding period in the league. At his peak, the Sonics ranked consistently at the top of the Western Conference. Payton built an amazing partnership with Shawn Kemp – one of the most entertaining players of all time.
GP also had the reputation of a trash talker worth his salt. He never backed down, even in the face of a prime Michael Jordan. Payton was also arguably the most effective player to guard MJ, despite a significant height difference between the two.
Gary Payton ranks himself above Larry Bird, Michael Jordan in the pantheon of trash-talkers
In a recent interview, Payton said this when he was asked about who the greatest trash-talker in NBA history is:
“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.”
Gary Payton Calls Himself a Bigger Trash Talker Than Michael Jordan and Larry Bird – https://t.co/vU4m6cyTwF
— EssentiallySports (@sports_ess) March 7, 2021
This is how Steve Francis described Gary Payton on court in a Players’ Tribune article:
“But first, I can’t forget about Gary Payton. Listen, man … I’ve been around an unbelievable amount of shit talkers in my life. I’ve been around some dudes better than GP. Way more creative, way more sinister. But this dude … this dude was like a volume shooter of shit talking. He would not shut the hell up from the minute we got on the court.”
GP definitely has the respect of his peers and oncourt rivals as a trash talker par excellence.