LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Most athletes who have experienced intense competition have either endured or dealt a decent amount of trash talk. Like it or hate it, trash talk is part of sports.
We take a look at five of the most active trash talkers in sports today:
5. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
Few professional athletes are as competitive as the Black Mamba. As any player who has had the misfortune of trying to defend him for a living will tell you, there is no filter between Bryant’s mind and his mouth. His trash talking on and off the court is nothing new. In fact, some would argue that it has played a role in his success. It fuels him. However, his trash talk is on a level of its own, simply because of his friendly fire. Kobe will not hesitate to talk trash to anyone, including his own teammates. Bryant has gotten into verbal altercations with teammates like Shaquille O’Neal, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard. When asked who would win between him and LeBron James 1-on-1, Kobe looked almost insulted by the question, giving a quick nod of his head and claiming “I would win.” Consider it general knowledge that, if you play for the Lakers in the Kobe era for any amount of time, you are liable to receive the Mamba’s trash talk at any time during or after your NBA career.
4. Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks
Sherman has not been in the NFL for long, but he has already earned a Super Bowl ring, as well as a reputation as one of the most boisterous trash talkers in the league. Sparking the initial media attention to his chirping in 2012 was his calling out of veteran quarterback Tom Brady after defeating the Patriots. However, the former Stanford standout ignited national attention after an intense rant following Seattle’s NFC Championship win over the San Francisco 49ers. After breaking up a potential game-winning pass to Michael Crabtree, an altercation between the two players led to a postgame interview in which Sherman proclaimed: “I’m the best corner in the game! When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result (you’re) gonna get!”
3. A.J. Pierzynski, St. Louis Cardinals
There’s a reason A.J. Pierzynski was voted Major League Baseball’s meanest player. In 2006, Pierzynski’s scuffle after a home-plate collision with Cubs catcher Michael Barrett was reportedly a feeling shared with plenty of ballplayers. When 215 players were polled by Sports Illustrated to see who was the “meanest” player, Pierzynski won 29 percent of the vote. He doesn’t stop at players, though. He has a reputation for going after umpires as well. Granted, the position of catcher is often associated with its fair share of trash talking while behind the plate. Even Ham Porter from “Sandlot” took part in some chirping with opposing batters! The aspect that sets Pierzynski apart, however, is the fact that, as far as his status as a bully in the league, he seems to like it.
2. Kevin Garnett, Brooklyn Nets
He’s made now-teammate Andray Blatche nearly cry, he’s talked about other NBA stars’ wives in between plays, there were even reports that he had called Charlie Villanueva a “cancer patient.” Garnett, possibly more than any other player in the NBA, knows how to get into another player’s head and ruin his game through emotional frustration. Oftentimes, it won games. It was one reason he was so loved by Celtics fans during his time in Boston, and it was why he was widely labeled as an unnecessary bully by everyone else. Additionally, Garnett has a reputation for taking his competitive edge beyond the realm of verbal and into the domain of physical.
1. Floyd Mayweather, Professional Boxer
Being undefeated in any professional capacity requires a different degree of competitive nature. For “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather Jr., being undefeated can go to the head and inflate one’s ego to unprecedented proportions. Throughout his career, Mayweather has taken shots at Shane Mosely, calling him “a guy who’s extremely desperate,” announcer Larry Merchant, saying he was “just a commentator (and) he don’t know nothing about boxing,” and at mixed martial arts in general, claiming the sport “is for beer drinkers.” However, time and again, Mayweather has been able to back up his mouth — apart from the long-anticipated showdown between him and Manny Pacquiao.