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Trash talking in the NBA

Trash talking in the NBA

Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Larry Bird. These are just some of the most known trash talkers in the history of the NBA. If a current king of trash talking had to be selected, it probably would be Draymond Green, and he already has more than ten technical fouls this season to prove it. Trash talking is just another way to intimidate the opposite team. An unwritten rule is that if you take part in trash talking, you’ve also be able to take it.

We’ve selected some of the biggest trash talkers in the history of the NBA.

Honorary mention: Mark Cuban

Photo: USA TODAY sports

Though Cuban isn’t a NBA player, he is definitely one of the best trash talkers there is. In the past, he has even admitted it’s fun to trash talk during games. He has been fined multiple times for his trash talking, and sometimes even for trash talking he did through Twitter. Furthermore, he is constant distraction during the play-off games of the Mavericks

Rasheed Wallace

This is definitely a name that should be included on this list. He is the all-time leader of most technical fouls in one season.

His most famous trash talking line is probably ‘Ball don’t lie’, for which he was rejected in a game against the Phoenix Suns.

Charles Barkley

Photo: Brad Rempel USA TODAY Sports

Barkley was also quite good at trash talking, and he definitely didn’t stop when he went from NBA player to NBA analyst. Besides that, he also made clear an important factor of rivalry and trash talking: “I don’t hate anyone, at least not for more than 48 minutes, barring overtime.” Even now, as a member of ‘Inside the NBA’, Barkley can’t stop talking trash about players, clubs and everyone around him.

Kevin Garnett

Photo: Brad Rempel USA TODAY Sports

At the beginning of his career, you wouldn’t have expected Garnett would have become one of the biggest trash talkers in the NBA. Especially during his time with the Celtics, Garnett would go full on crazy, and he even made one of his teammates cry.

Kobe Bryant

Photo: Debby Wong USA TODAY Sports

Kobe didn’t just stick with trash talking his opponents, but on several occasions he also talked trash about his teammates, such as Shaquille O’Neal and Pau Gasol.

Michael Jordan


Michael Jordan, the greatest player of all-time, was also one of the biggest trash talkers, if not the biggest. His most famous trash talking moment was against Muggsy Bogues of the Charlotte Hornets. In an important game in the 1995 play-offs, Jordan shouted “shoot you fucking midget” to Bogues. Bogues took the shot anyway, and it turned out to be a brick. Furthermore, the Hornets lost that game and the play-offs. Bogues has said his jump shot never recovered after that.

Larry Bird

Bird has several memorable trash talking lines, and most of the time he didn’t even say them directly to an opponent, but to one of his teammates. At one point in his career, Bird pointed to an exact spot on the floor, and scored eleven points straight from that exact point. Therefore, Bird didn’t only talk (or in his case ‘point’) trash, but he kept true to his word.

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