Not every NBA player wants to be a role model. When Paul Pierce knocked down the go-ahead triple with 8.3 seconds to play against the Hawks in the 2015 NBA Playoffs, he turned to the Atlanta bench and had the audacity to say, “Series.” That’s it. That’s all he uttered. But, wow, that’s some big-time smack right there.
Pierce was so certain that this last shot was going to be the back breaker for the Hawks, that he had the guts to tell them this series was over. That’s how you do it — that’s how you throw shade on your opponent. Of course, this would, ultimately, end up backfiring in Pierce’s face, the Wizards would wind up losing the series to Atlanta. But still, it was awesome.
It was a throw-back moment to the NBA of old. A time when players jabbed at each other and were just as fierce with their words as they were with their jumpers. Pierce didn’t win the game, but we will remember his words — and a time when this lost art form was another reason why we love this game. So with that in mind, here’s a look at the seven biggest trash talkers in NBA history.
1. Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley was an absolute monster on the basketball court. Despite being an undersized power forward, he still managed to average 22.1 points and 11.7 rebounds per game for his career. Aside from being one of the best players in NBA history to never win an NBA title, Barkley was (and still is) one of the sport’s biggest characters. He was a big proponent of trash talking — so long as you were good enough to back it up. And Sir Charles certainly was; which is way this Hall of Famer completely lacked a filter, and had no problem mixing it up with the best there ever was. Barkley always did have the gift of gab.