Trash-talking has likely been a part of the game of basketball since it was invented and is certainly a big part of the NBA.
Regardless of the era, there have been plenty of examples of the league’s best players trash-talking their opponents in order to gain a mental advantage.
That is no different in today’s game and the Los Angeles Lakers have one of the most infamous talkers in the league in Lance Stephenson. Growing up in Brooklyn, NY, Stephenson was surely raised on the well-known street courts where trash talk is essential, and he has not let that part of his game go away despite being on the biggest stage.
That is apparent with the recent poll of current NBA players who listed Stephenson fifth among the NBA’s biggest trash talkers, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic:
1. Draymond Green (33.7%)
2. Patrick Beverley (15.4%)
3. Russell Westbrook (12.2%)
4. Joel Embiid (8.1%)
5. Lance Stephenson (4.1%)
6. DeMarcus Cousins, Joe Ingles (3.2%)
7. Marcus Smart (2.4%)
8. Jae Crowder (1.6%)
9. Marcus Morris, Chris Paul (1.2%)
10. Terry Rozier, Isaiah Thomas, Montrezl Harrell, Wayne Selden, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jusuf Nurkic, Ben Simmons, Sindarius Thornwell, Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett, De’Aaron Fox, Udonis Haslem, Serge Ibaka, Jimmy Butler, Eric Bledsoe, Buddy Hield (1%)
11. Markieff Morris (0.5%; split vote)
The top of the list should come as no surprise to any NBA fans. Draymond Green is constantly talking and Patrick Beverley is known to try and get inside his opponent’s head while defending. Likewise, Russell Westbrook and Joel Embiid are also constantly going at opponents and even have a bit of a rivalry amongst themselves.
Stephenson certainly had his moments during the 2018-19 NBA season with the Lakers, especially as his celebrations likely don’t sit well with his opponents. That hasn’t stopped him from doing what he does best and considering how long he has been in the league already, there is probably nothing anyone can do to stop him from talking on the court.