It's all a part of...
Or, "You couldn't stick me if I was made of Velcro."
When you get right down to it, intimidation is the ultimate goal of almost every smack talker. Even Michael Jordan, who is pretty intimidating without even opening his mouth, talks some head now and then. Jordan set the tone for a pickup game at North Carolina Charlotte two summers ago by saying to the guys guarding him, "Let me get your names. You need to he on the roll sheet, 'cause school's in session."
Every now and then you get the chance to toy with a guy's mind and rattle his brainpan at the same time. Bearup remembers an incident that happened when he was playing for Kentucky in the Final Four against Georgetown in 1984. "There was a one-and-one free throw situation, and I was going to box out Michael Graham," he says. "The first shot went up, and he absolutely cracked me in the neck with an elbow. The shot went in, and Graham apologized: 'Sorry, man. My fault, my fault."
"I would have nailed him on the next free throw, except he had apologized. So the next free throw goes up, and bam! He hits me in the same exact place. Graham turned and looked at me and said, 'Sucker,' and ran on down the court."
Now, there are some people who talk about bustin' as if it's going to cause the decline of civilization, to which I say...
Take That —— Outta Here
Or, "I don't think it has any place in the sport." That was the judgment of Indiana coach Bob Knight, who nevertheless got into the spirit of trash talkin' a bit when he trashed it at a recent Big Ten luncheon. "That kind of —— from the players reflects on the entire operation of a team," he said. "I'd rather have players concentrating on what we're going to do than on some clever, wiseass thing to say to somebody else."
Utah coach Rick Majerus is also down on woolin'. "I don't allow my players to [talk trash]," he says. "If they want to be like that, they should be rappers or go on Saturday Night Live."