Kevin Garnett made a guest appearance on the All The Smoke podcast featuring Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson. Garnett talked about numerous basketball-related topics, and as one of the best trash-talkers in NBA history, he shared who are the two best trash-talkers he had the opportunity to play against.
Garnett started his career in the mid-’90s when players had more freedom to trash-talk against their opponents. This way, players wanted to get a much-needed edge in every situation they could, and according to Garnett, Gary Payton and Charles Barkley are the best to do it. It’s not so much of a surprise Garnett mentioned these two legends because their names often came up in these conversations. On the other hand, he offers a great insight into how Gary Payton was able to control the entire game while at the same time trash-talking to almost everyone on the court.
“Gary Payton and Charles Barkey were two of the arguably best trash talkers I ever experienced. I saw Gary Payton control the referee, his coach, my coach, the crowd, the lady in the front; he was controlling the whole game. I watched GP back down the guard from baseline to baseline, talking the whole time. How is GP managing all this and still scoring the ball and stealing the ball, effective. He was just a control freak, and if you went to a party with Gary, he was doing the same thing. GP, to me, was like masterful.”
The main difference Garnett sees in Barkley’s and Payton’s approach is the fact Payton would rarely fight other players. He would mostly agitate you and try to get under your skin while Barkley was always in the mood to fight or start a fight.
“Charles Barkley was the other level of trash-talking because he would end up fighting you or trying to fight you, but he is still fearing everybody on the court.”