Originally Posted by joe
That being said, I play with and love playing with some trash talkers. You can tell when some guys are just being funny/cool about it, and I don't put those guys in the same category as the others. But overall, unless it's someone I know, I prefer the only talk to be relating to the game.
I think you raise a good point. If it's done the right way, I do not have an issue with trash talk. I'm not big on trash talking myself, but I think there can be a gamesmanship aspect to it. At my court, I can think of a couple regulars off hand who are guys who just chatter all game long, sometimes at the expense of the opposition. He'll even argue calls or tell a defender he can't check him but his delivery is one that conveys he's serious, but understands it's just a game.
On the flip side, things always seem to be heading somewhere unpleasant when players take the trash talk too far, where it seems and feels more like legitimate verbal attacks and whatnot (like a few examples mentioned in this thread). At that point, like you said, it's usually just a matter of time before the game has to be stopped after a stupid argument jumps off and it all becomes more about anything and everything not related to basketball. By that point, that kind of talk isn't doing anything for your team, or anyone else out there. It's just a mess.
Unfortunately, I think some folks just have a bad sense of self. Sometimes, they may think they're just pumping up their team and having good fun when in truth, their profane putdowns aren't actually having the effect they desire, including some opponents accepting those putdowns as being about more than just the game.