Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Morning Briefing Eye Openers

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Morning Briefing Eye Openers

Article excerpt

The Really Great Ones never needed to talk trash, so scribes BRUCE JENKINS of the San Francisco Chronicle. They did their talking with the basketball.

Neither BILL RUSSELL, ELGIN BAYLOR, JERRY WEST, WILT CHAMBERLAIN, OSCAR ROBERTSON, CONNIE HAWKINS, EARL MONROE, JULIUS ERVING nor RICK BARRY did it.

LARRY BIRD was a trash talker to behold, Jenkins adds. But mouthing off has risen to new heights of late.

"Based on current events, and the way the game is heading, trash-talking will soon become an official category in the NBA media guide," Jenkins predicts.

"Whether this will ever be confused with talent, however, is subject to debate," he said. "It's a simple fact that the list of all-time greats in the NBA is 99 percent trash-proof. And if you aspire to join that elite little club, screaming insults or playing to the crowd is not the way."

*****

Sweet Talker: So what does CHARLES BARKLEY, never at a loss for words, have to say about all this?

Ironically, Barkley puts down the likes of Golden State's CHRIS WEBBER and LATRELL SPREWELL. But Barkley's done his share of barking.

"I think it's a generation thing," Barkley says. "It used to be that only the really, really good players jawed. Now everybody does. I think if you look at our kids in general in society, they all talk back to their parents and show little respect."

*****

Nice Guys: Apparently even former Laker and current Suns forward A.C. GREEN does his talking with his body language.

"He's just a dirty player," the Warriors' Sprewell told the San Francisco Chronicle. "He throws elbows, takes cheap shots. I've seen it on film, and now I'm seeing it on the court. Nothing new. It's not like somebody just told us."

*****

A Bad Neighborhood: DAVE MAGGARD, a former University of Miami athletic director, jumped at the opportunity to take the job of director of sports for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

In Miami, "Our house was broken into twice," Maggard told the San Francisco Examiner. …

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