If we told you that it used to be harder to guard John Stockton than it was to guard Michael Jordan, what would you say? You would call us crazy, right? Of course you would. Hell, we would call ourselves crazy if we ever tried to make that claim. But according to one player who is going to be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday, Stockton was harder to guard than Jordan.
"Those battles [with Jordan] were a little easier," Gary Payton revealed recently. "I would have Jordan get mad at me and go back at me. He knew he was really talented and could do whatever he wanted to. But [Stockton] was more of a challenge to me than guarding someone that would talk back to me. When you talk back to me and say something to me, it made my game go to another level. John was one who wouldn't say nothing and you couldn't figure him out. He'd keep going in the pick and rolls, and he and Karl Malone would score a big bucket. At times I would guard Jordan and get him mad and into other things."
You hear that, kids (and guys who play pickup basketball and don't know how to STFU)? By talking trash, you actually make it easier for some defenders to guard you. So shut your mouth and play ball. It might just make you a better player.
[via Eye on Basketball]