Gary Payton is one of the best trash-talkers in sports history, and he routinely got into it with opposing players during his storied NBA career. But he retired from the league almost a decade ago, so surely he’s not still talking trash, right?
Ha. Once a trash-talker, always a trash-talker, and The Glove put his trash-talking skills on full display over the weekend when he showed up to watch his son Julian Payton play in a game. The younger Payton’s Phoenix Hillcrest Academy team squared off against Napa Prolific Prep on Saturday night, and during the contest, the older Payton got into a war of words with Prolific Prep’s Josh Jackson, who just so happens to be the No. 1 ranked high school player in the country right now. Jackson hit a three-pointer in the second half of the game and told Payton to tell the Hillcrest players to stop talking to him, and from there, it was on.
“You got to get to my level,” Payton yelled at Johnson from the stands, according to Yahoo! Sports reporter Marc J. Spears.
The two continued to go back and forth throughout the second half, and after Prolific Prep pulled out a 77-72 win, Payton talked to Yahoo! Sports about what happened and revealed that he thinks Jackson needs to learn how to avoid distractions.
“Who? No. 11? He cool, man. He has a lot of dog in him,” Payton said, offering up some compliments before dishing out some criticism to Johnson. “He has to work on his right hand. Kids nowadays in that situation are not coached how they should be coached to learn the game. When he got into it with me, his whole game went to [expletive] to me. He didn’t score. He didn’t do anything. He got to concentrate. That’s what kids got to understand, you’re not there yet. What makes a game is defined by what you do. Then you’re paying attention to me? Most kids can’t play that way.”
Jackson—who has been recruited by just about every major college basketball program and is reportedly considering attending either Michigan State, Arizona, Kansas, UCLA, or Maryland—called the trash-talking session “fun” after the game. He also finished with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists, so it doesn’t sound like he was too thrown off by Payton’s constant trash-talk. But doesn’t he know better than to mess with one of the best trash-talkers of all time? That's a battle you're not going to win.
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[via Yahoo! Sports]