Friday, January 4, 2008

Celtics Talking Too Much Trash?

Sorry for not having any new content yesterday, I got hit by a nasty case of food poisoning (thanks In-N-Out) and was out of commission all day.

In his recent ESPN chat David Thorpe made a few comments about how much trash the Celtics are talking out on the court. Could this have been a factor in Lamar Odom's flagrant foul on Ray Allen?

While Odom himself listed several reasons for the foul, he didn't mention trash talk. Still, the Celtic's frustrating defense, combined with the trash talk and their habit of blowing out opponents probably doesn't sit too well with other teams in the league.

Of course, trash talking is part of the mental side the game. It can be seen as crude at times, but the general idea is to get in your opponent's head while boosting your own confidence at the same time. Some of the best players that the game has ever seen were notorious trash talkers, such as Michael Jordan and Gary Payton.

Still, there are many who see trash talking as unsportsmanlike, as something that should be left on the playgrounds and removed from the professional game. It gives the impression that the player is arrogant and conceited, which doesn't help the NBA in their never-ending quest to remove the "gangster" or "thug" element from the game.

We have already seen the NBA crack down on things like taunting, hanging on the rim, arguing with referees, and other actions that would be considered bad behavior. Accordingly, trash talking seems to have declined from it's hayday in the late 90's. If the Celtics are saying a few things here and there to their opponents then so be it. It hasn't gotten out of hand yet, and if the chatter on the floor is helping Boston take their game to a new level then the NBA needs to let it go.

The rest of the league needs to understand that the way to hurt a trash talking team is on the scoreboard, not with flagrant fouls and overly physical play, which we saw when the Celtics took on the Kings. Until someone does that the Celtics have every right to talk.

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