Gary Payton named a few obvious picks – Michael Jordan, Reggie Miller, and Larry Bird – on his all-90s trash-talking team.
The NBA has become stricter with its player’s behavior. Today, even the biggest superstars aren’t excused for using excess abusive language directed at their opponents. However, this wasn’t the case a few decades back.
Trash-talking has been an essential part of the league for a long time now. It helps players get under their opponents’ skin and in their heads, giving them a kind of competitive edge over the others.
Headlined by Gary Payton, among many others, the 1990s era had some of the most iconic and brutal trash-talkers in the history of the game.
Recently, Payton even named the 4 most lethal trash talkers, alongside him, from the 1990s.
“We’d have been something else if we’d have been teaming up together”: Gary Payton on his all-90s trash-talking team
On an appearance on JJ Redick’s “The Old Man and the Three” podcast, Gary was asked to name his all-90s trash talk team. Without hesitation, Payton named Reggie Miller, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan alongside him.
“Yeah, I mean, me, Reggie Miller, Larry Bird, he was just good … I only played against him for two years, but he was really, really good. MJ [Michael Jordan] used to give his little things underneath his breath.”
The HOFer had a lesser-known fifth pick for his team – Chuck Person.
“People don’t really understand Chuck Person was a cold one, too,” he continued. “He used to talk a lot of trash. The Rifleman … So, you know, us five, we’d have been something else if we’d have been teaming up together, talking a lot of trash, man. We’d have had everybody discombobulated, man. I’m telling you, man, we’d have done a good job.”
Each of these players has several anecdotes of completely humiliating their opponents with their words. They even had the talent to back their own trash-talk with their incredible game.