According to more than 70 NBA players polled by SI, these are the league's verbal villains.
1. GARY PAYTON, G, SUPERSONICS.
He talks in the preseason, talks when he's on the bench, talks during his own charity game. "The most consistent trash talker I've ever encountered, and I can't think of anybody who's a close second," says Nuggets guard Bryant Stith. When one of the Nuggets dared Payton to shoot, Payton hit a three. Says Stith, "Every time he came down the court after that he told the guy, 'That's why I make $12 million.' I mean, every time!"
2. MICHAEL JORDAN, G, BULLS.
A smooth talker. "His stuff is more refined," says Grizzlies guard Anthony Peeler. "He'll tell you stuff while he's shooting, like 'You almost got that. You were this close.' "
3. CHARLES BARKLEY, F, ROCKETS.
Funniest talker in the NBA. Once asked the deeply religious A.C. Green, "A.C., if God is so good, how come he didn't give you a jump shot?"
4. REGGIE MILLER, G, PACERS.
He even talks at practice. He once hounded teammate Sam Mitchell so fiercely during a workout that Mitchell chased him into the stands.
5. TIM HARDAWAY, G, HEAT.
He rates himself third, behind Payton and the Bulls' Scottie Pippen. "I do it all," Hardaway says. "If you try to show me up, I can show you up more, then tell you about it."
6. CHUCK PERSON, F, SPURS.
Even a year off because of an ailing back didn't hurt the Rifleman in the rankings by his peers. "Don't let him make that first shot or he'll be talking to you, the team, the bench, the coach, everybody," says Mavericks forward Dennis Scott.
7. JOHN STARKS, G, KNICKS.
Starks often talks to everyone but his opponent. Says Spurs forward Charles Smith, "He'll yell out to his teammates, saying, 'He can't hold me. He can't hold me.' "
8. ALONZO MOURNING, C, HEAT.
He likes to add a few choice words to his trademark scowl. "He talks a lot of stuff," says Kings forward Michael Smith. "He tries to intimidate people."
9. ALLEN IVERSON, G, 76ERS.
Cocky. He even responds to compliments with trash. "I guess he knows he's good," says Heat center Duane Causwell. "You say, 'Nice pass,' and he says, 'I know it's a nice pass.' "