Trash talking is as big a part of basketball as layups and three-pointers, but when does it cross the line?
Last year Boston Celtics star Kevin Garnet attempted to get inside rival Carmelo Anthony’s head by insinuating he’d slept with Anthony’s wife, Lala.
During the incident, Garnet reportedly told Anthony that Lala “tasted like Honey Nut Cherios,” which nearly resulted in a post-game fight. This time, history almost repeated itself when a Boston reserve player, Jordan Crawford, took another shot at Lala.
As the players were walking off the court at the end of game 5 of their playoff series, Crawford was caught on camera uttering lewd comments toward Anthony. Although it’s hard to tell exactly what was said, it appears Crawford utters, “M*therf*ker f*cked your wife.”
To Anthony’s credit, he downplayed the incident and left the court, but his teammate, Raymond Felton, took offense and confronted Crawford. As tensions heightened, players were rushed off the court and fans are eager to see how game 6 of the series will play out.
After the game, Anthony said commenting on Crawford was beneath him.
“I’m not thinking about no Jordan Crawford, not at this point in time, I’ll tell you that,” Anthony told reporters after the game. “I don’t even think he deserves for you to be typing [his name] right now.”
But Lala wasn’t so diplomatic. She took to Twitter on Thursday to take a jab at Crawford, tweeting, “Try again. You on the bench for a reason.”
Despite video of the incident, Crawford claims he never mentioned Lala.
He tweeted, “I would never talk trash about that man’s wife. I don’t [know] him. All I did was respond!!”
Gaining a psychological advantage on your opponent is a big part of sports, and many players trash talk before, during, and after the game tying to influence what happens on the hardwood. But taking shots at someone’s wife or girlfriend seems like a low blow because it not only dives into the murky waters of questioning someone’s “manhood,” but it unnecessarily tarnishes the other person’s reputation as well.
And in this day in age when rumors are often taken for fact, a seemingly harmless ploy to get inside your adversary’s head can have serious real world consequences.