Trash talk is sort of a lost art in the NBA nowadays. Finding a way to get into your opponent's head is a crucial part of basketball, and sometimes, the easiest way to do so is by trash-talking. While it is still used by players nowadays, it isn't as normal as it once was, as the NBA has looked to prevent fights or scuffles from breaking out in their games.
Garnett opens on how he learned how to trash talk
One such old(er) school player who was great at trash-talking his opponent was Kevin Garnett. Garnett was one of the most dominant two-way players in NBA history, and he often let folks know about it when he crossed them on their court. Garnett's ability to rattle the guy he was going up against with both his skill and words was part of what made him so great.
Surprisingly enough, Garnett wasn't always the fiery trash-talker that we have come to know and love nowadays. Early on, Garnett was told not to say anything when he played, but that changed later in his life. Garnett opened up on how a former coach named "Wolfie" helped him learn how to trash talk and how it helped make him a better player on the court.
"Wolfie was like 'I mean, if you've got something you wanna get out man, let it out. Don't be holding that in here…He gave me that freedom of expression…He started to help me like really express myself through the skill, because he saw what I would work on after practice and all the things I wanted to be better at. And he was like 'Man, you gotta start implementing that (the trash talk) into your game, and you gotta do that s*** with some energy, man. So I would do it with that." - Kevin Garnett, Knuckleheads Podcast
Garnett used trash-talking to his advantage throughout his career
Everyone likes to label themselves a strong trash-talker, but not many can actually back up their talk when it comes time to do so. Not only did Garnett back up his talk, but he literally found a way to practice trash-talking. Having that type of confidence to strut your stuff at any level of basketball you play is a huge, huge advantage.
Garnett never lacked confidence and always showed that when he took the court. But this is an interesting story that shows how Garnett wasn't always an elite trash-talker and how he had to improve his confidence while figuring out how to break down opponents. And judging by the career he put together, it's safe to say that Garnett managed to master the art of trash-talking.