Oh, could Sam Cassell talk a good game.
During a 15-year NBA career that included three NBA championships, Cassell was known for making big shots. And he had no problem letting you know about it.
Trash talk was as much a part of Cassell's game as his clutch jumpers.
"I just used it to motivate me," Cassell said. "I motivated myself because I knew I had to back it up."
Banter between players on the basketball court probably has been around since the day Dr. James Naismith hung the first peach basket when he invented the game.
It's not going away, but can it go too far?
Earlier this month, New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony was suspended for one game by the NBA for trying to confront Boston Celtics star and noted trash talker Kevin Garnett over remarks during the game that Anthony believed crossed the line.
Anthony never revealed what Garnett said. But whatever Garnett said was out of bounds from Anthony's perspective.
Cassell said there is protocol to trash talk.
"I ain't gonna say nothing degrading to a guy," Cassell said. "But everything will be (about what's) on the basketball court, you know?"
Cassell, now an assistant coach with Washington, said the best talker he played with and against was Gary Payton.
Payton could yap, and as one of the best two-way players of his time, he could break you down on offense and lock you up defensively.
That's a lot of talk on both ends of the court.
"GP was the best," Cassell said. "When he was my teammate in Milwaukee, we used to have a blast. I'd come down with a small guard on me, and he'd be like, 'Get in the post, man. We ain't got all day to do this.' And vice versa."
Cassell said as long the talk didn't "get too personal," the on-court conversations were all about gamesmanship.
The New York Post reported Knicks owner James Dolan recorded the on-court talk during the Jan. 11 game between the host Knicks and Chicago to keep tabs on what was being said to Anthony.
Anthony didn't know he was being recorded but told the Post he had no problem with an owner who "looks out for me."
"I don't think the mikes are going to stop what goes out on the court," Anthony said. "But it was funny when I heard it. No, I wasn't upset. Not at all."
Let's hope the mikes are ready March 31. That's the next time the Knicks host the Celtics.
LeBron James might be the best in the NBA at filling up a box score. Last week, the Miami star reached two statistical milestones, surpassing 20,000 points and 5,000 assists.
He joined the Lakers' Kobe Bryant and Garnett as the only active members of the 20,000-point, 5,000-assist club.
What's James' ceiling? Could he be a 30,000-point scorer and approach 8,000 assists?
If James maintains his career average of 6.9 assists, he would need another 433 games to surpass 8,000.
If James continues to score at his career rate of 27.6 points per game, he'll need another 360 games to top 30,000 points.
That would leave James, statistically speaking, in a class by himself.
Tweet of the week
"S/O too the bro @KDTrey5 for dropping a 50 piece nugget .. #MVP #thunderup" Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook (@russwest44) after teammate Kevin Durant scored a career-high 52 points in an overtime win over Dallas on Friday.