Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Brian Scalabrine: Paul Pierce is NBA’s best trash talker

Paul Pierce, Garrett Temple

Paul Pierce, Garrett Temple


The NBA’s best trash talker? Ask guys around the league and Kevin Garnett’s name still comes up, although Draymond Green is the current consensus leader.

Former NBA player now Celtics analyst Brian Scalabrine says Paul Pierce has them all beat back in his prime, part of a Q&A at the Players’ Tribune.

Paul Pierce is the greatest trash talker I’ve ever encountered in this league....

Paul’s trash talk was devastating because he’s so witty and smart. I mean, the guy is off the charts smart. It’s one thing to say something outrageous or offensive to throw someone off, but I would hear Paul just cut through guys with his words. And the fact that he was so respected made his insults hurt even more. Nobody wants to get told they’re human garbage by The Truth.

You can see why Paul’s had so much success with poker. He understands how to employ psychological warfare to his advantage. To him, that’s all part of the game. He didn’t back down from any player, and there was never a time when he appeared rattled. Guys could try to talk smack back at him but it wouldn’t get through. He was too ice cold on the court.

Pierce still has the gift. Last season during the playoffs, then Wizard Pierce said Toronto didn’t worry him as an opponent because they didn’t have “it.” That became a talking point for days around the series, and it bothered the Raptors. The Wizards swept the series, and
Pierce hit the dagger shot in one game.

The Clippers could use a little of that psychological warfare come the playoffs if they want to be a real threat to get out of the West.