How to Talk Trash

Feb 092006
Authors: With Chris Harris

The key element of the game – that is not in the stat sheets.

Talking trash has been part of the game since, well, since the game has been the game.

Everyone talks trash – some are just better than others. AND1 merchandise made a fortune off the ability to talk trash and make crappy shoes. Lines like "Call 911: I'm on fire," and "Here's $5, go buy yourself some game," were on every middle school kid's shirt.

Trash talking, when done right, is a great component to your game. Trash talking, when done wrong, can be an embarrassing situation.

For instance, don't take the easy way out and spit lines from "White Men Can't Jump" like "It's hard making you look so bad." And don't just say the same boring thing over and over again like "Got ya," especially if your shot doesn't even draw iron.

A well-placed "You got something in your eye," or "Do I smell something burning?" after dropping a floater in traffic can be effective but also cliche.

We asked Ram basketball player Chris Harris, the godfather of trash talking, on the rules of engagement when it comes to the hidden side of the game.

Because life is not a friendly game of one-on-one.

Chris Harris Says:

Talk trash when: You have the momentum, when the opponent is struggling, when you are guarding your man near your bench, when the refs are not looking.

Talk trash because: Get in your opponent's head, break his rhythm, make him less of a team player, make the game fun.

Say: Anything that can disrupt the opponent, personal or non-personal

Example: When the ref is not looking and your opponent hasn't touched the ball in a while you say: "Why are you on the court? Your own team don't respect you. They won't even pass you the rock."

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