Skip to main content

Kevin Garnett on how his mentor teaching him how to trash talk made him a better player - "He started to help me really express myself"

Garnett always knew how to get in his opponents head when he took the court in the NBA, and judging by the career he had, it's safe to say he mastered the art of trash-talking
Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett

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.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

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.

Kenny Smith

"They don't value me" - Kenny Smith reveals how he cried after witnessing the abysmal culture of the Sacramento Kings

Kenny Smith details just how miserable the culture of the Sacramento Kings was, having spent 3 years with them

LeBron James & Kevin Durant

He's setting the bar for what an athlete can be, not everyone can do this" - Kevin Durant speaks on LeBron James' legacy and longevity

Brooklyn Nets Kevin Durant recently praised Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James for his scoring ability, longevity and lasting NBA legacy

Chris Gatling in action during the 1996 season

"It turned out they were giving me the wrong amount of medication...I could've died" - Chris Gatling on surviving coma and brain surgeries

Unbelievably, Chris Gatling defied the laws of medicine and played in the NBA for more than a decade.


"He better be there" - Jimmy Butler demands Bam Adebayo be named as 2023 All-Star after producing career-best numbers

Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler subtly hints at how his teammate, Bam Adebayo deserves to be named an All-Star in the 2022-23 season


"Lakers team is set up on championship or bust" - Kendrick Perkins buries all claims of LeBron James making way into 2023 MVP race

Former NBA Champions Tristan Thompson and Kendrick Perkins stand on parallel ends citing LeBron James’ inclusion in the 2023 MVP race.