If you think about the ultimate trash talkers in the NBA, Gary Payton’s name comes to mind in those conversations. Gary was an elite point guard in the league for over a decade, who could easily score 20 points but at the same make the players around him better. Gary, popularly known as “The Glove,” could lock down any guard on defense, and his impact on the game was visible in every aspect.
There were numerous stories about Payton’s ability to get players out of their comfort zone during his illustrious career. Payton would get a vital edge when playing against them. Payton himself admits that he would talk about almost anything and often take it too far.
One of the times Payton went too far was during a game that had a young Lamar Odom on the other side. Odom was, at that point in his career, known as a young and talented forward. During the game, Gary started talking to Lamar and even brought up his mother in the conversation. Little did Payton know that Lamar’s mom passed away.
Lamar Odom was the one that I really went at like that. I was talking about his mother and I didn’t know that his mother passed away and I said a lot of bad things to him. I really regretted that and he went into the locker room and he told his agent. His agent talked to my agent and he got me out of my locker room and he said that Lamar is a young kid (at that time) and that he is upset and emotional. I had to go over there and I had to apologize because if I knew that his mother has just passed it would have never been that way.Gary Payton
The competitive nature Payton adopted made him talk to every single player and about almost anything that came to his mind at that exact moment.
I said a lot of bad things to a lot of guys and I hurt a lot of their feelings and it wasn’t personal, but it was something to get them out of their game. For me, nothing was off limitsGary Payton