Listen Up Kids

I’m the best trash talker in the league.

I talk the whole game. That’s why I feel like I’m No. 1, because I don’t stop.

Some of these other guys we play against, when they’re down, you don’t hear them a whole lot. With me, even if we’re down, you hear me barking right back to opponents and letting them know ‘watch out, we’re about to come back.’

My trashing talking comes from always playing basketball. I grew up in Staten Island. In New York, that’s the thing we like to do. We like to tease each other and get under each other’s skin but in a healthy way.

Have fun with it.

I’ve had a reputation as a trash talker since I started playing NBA 2K. It just makes me play better, especially in a LAN environment – I know I’m getting in these kids’ heads.

For example, we played Blazer5 Gaming earlier in the season and went up against their point guard, Mama Im Dat Man. I was barking at him during the game and he started throwing these weird passes that he never throws.

I knew after that game that I’d had an impact on him through my trash talk.

While I know I get in guys’ heads, and it gets them riled up, I also have to back it up with my performance, too. Which is another reason I feel I’m one of the best talkers because I do back it up on the court.

For me, trash talking is just going to be coming throughout the whole game. It sucks for opposing players. They’re going to hear me. I have a loud voice.

I usually lose my voice after every game. In tournaments, I try to save it the best I can because I expect a long run from our team.

My goal is to always get my own team going. I’m the vocal leader of our squad. My teammates look at me during timeouts to fill that role. I’ve definitely embraced it and am becoming a better leader every day. The fact that they have faith in me means a lot.

I first try to galvanize the group. Second, especially if my teammates are making good plays, I know how to hype them up, I know what to say.

The thing about being a leader is you need to know their personalities, what they like, what they don’t like. Some guys like it when you hype them up a bunch, some guys like it when you hype them a little more low-key. You have to find that balance.

Our point guard, oFAB, and I have been playing together for almost six years, so he and I already had chemistry. We won championships together in other leagues before the 2K League started. I was always the second guy for him.

Sometimes with oFAB, he can get frustrated. And when he gets frustrated, he gets quiet, and that’s not good. That’s when I step up and get the other guys going, and he starts hearing the other guys talk. We’re like the perfect combination of leaders on the team with our personalities.

A lot of players say they were slept on when it comes to draft position. oFAB is always telling me I was one of the steals of the draft. I was selected with the second pick in the third round, but I thought I could have gone in the middle or late first round.

Honestly, it worked out. I was happy I went in the third round to this organization because this team is one that asked me questions during the interview process, like: What is my endgame? What do I plan on doing as a public figure in the community? I told them I wanted to do great things on and off the court.

As far as leaving my mark on the league, I feel I have done that being a vocal guy, a passionate guy, a fiery guy.

That’s awesome and everything. But I want to also be known as a great player. My game does a lot of my talking, as well.

You have to find a balance. It’s tricky. I actually go into every game thinking about what I’m going to say. I like to look at what opposing players might say. I watch film and listen to what they say. I use it as ammo.

I say ‘pillow soft’ a lot and it gets a lot of these guys upset now, so I’m going to keep saying it. It’s actually pretty tame but it’s effective.

I feel like I’m the Kevin Garnett of the league in that regard… I do my research.

Everyone watching the league is loving the trash talk. A couple of guys in the league – me, Lets Get It Ramo and Dayfri – are the old-school trash talkers. We’ve been doing it from Day 1.

Now you see these new teams that are just starting to do it, getting a little buzz from it. They weren’t doing it from the beginning. I feel like if you’re not doing it from the beginning, don’t start doing it now.

Our team expects to win. When we win, yes we get hyped. But we always go in the GG line and give respect to the other competitors.

It’s all love at the end of the day.

Photo Credit: Michelle Farsi/NBA 2K League

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