Ring Don't Lie

How Filthy Is the Trash Talk Between the Cavs and Warriors?

Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors reacts after a foul call in the first quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday in Cleveland.

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The Warriors and Cavaliers are in the midst of their third-straight finals matchup, so you’d expect them to be trading plenty of heated barbs. Familiarity breeds contempt, etc. The lopsided nature of the first two games, however, meant there was little opportunity for a free-flowing exchange of mean-spirited repartee. But since Game 3 this resurgent Cavs team has shown it has come to play, and everyone is starting to get mean again. To celebrate, let’s examine some of the choicest insults hurled out by players, fans, and sentient bar signs.

1. “Draymond Sucks” chants

Cleveland fans serenaded Draymond Green with this ditty after he picked up his fourth foul on Friday:

While this is a very simplistic sentiment, you have to give the fans a break, as it’s hard for 20,000 people to communicate complex insults in unison. “DRAYMOND’S EFFECTIVENESS AS A PLAYMAKER IS A RESULT OF THE WARRIORS’ SHOOTERS AND THE SYSTEM IN WHICH HE PLAYS. HE WOULD BE A SERVICEABLE BUT RELATIVELY ANONYMOUS PLAYER ON MOST OTHER TEAMS” just doesn’t work as a chant.

Trash talk grade: C (although Draymond bobbing his head to the “Draymond Sucks” chant is an A+ response)

2. Draymond Green: Cleveland fans aren’t “the sharpest people around.”

Things got testy in Cleveland for Game 4. A fan sitting courtside was “relocated” for jawing with the Golden State bench. Techs were handed out (and then inexplicably rescinded). A groin was punched. But the incident that has gotten the most play since Friday came after the final whistle, during a postgame interview with Green:

Here’s what he said: “I don’t really pay them much attention. I don’t pay much attention to anyone in Cleveland. They don’t seem to be the sharpest people around, so … whatever.”

When people make fun of Cleveland, they typically mock the city itself. It’s old hat, and only seasoned trash talkers like Joakim Noah should experiment with the craft:

But Draymond knocked the people of Cleveland, which is just cruel. In other words, it’s great trash talk.

However, Draymond loses points for a couple things. First, he says, “I don’t pay much attention to anyone in Cleveland.” In the first item we reviewed, Draymond was nodding his head to the chant about his suckitude. You can’t nod rhythmically if you’re not paying attention, Draymond. He also comes off a little defensive, much like someone who gets owned online and can only respond, “I am not mad. This is actually funny to me.”

Trash talk grade: B-

3. This rude ice cream shop

While the Cleveland players have largely avoided taking Draymond’s bait, CP’s Cooler, an ice cream shop in Willowick, Ohio, did not:

This is a relevant and timely burn, which makes up for the overall quaintness. And CP’s has a sterling five stars on Yelp, meaning it has earned the right to knock an NBA champion like Draymond Green.

Trash talk grade: B+

4. Champagne hearsay

According to LeBron James, “some of the other guys” on the Cavs heard Warriors players talking prior to Game 4 about how they “wanted to celebrate on [Cleveland’s] floor once again,” describing in detail how they “wanted to spray champagne in [the] locker rooms.” He then added, “I think it came from Draymond, which is OK, that’s Dray.”

The most important thing about trash talk is that the trash talker backs it up, which was not the case in this instance. However, when you talk so much trash that the subject of your trash talk can only chuckle and take it, that means your history of trash talking precedes you, and almost anything that comes out of your mouth can and will be perceived as primo trash. For a trash talker, that is a fine thing indeed.

Trash talk grade: C+

5. A confounding San Francisco bar sign

The folks behind the BBall Breakdown Twitter account spotted this sign outside a bar in San Francisco’s Marina neighborhood:

This is the second-most-disastrous thing that has ever been written in chalk, surpassed only by the equations for the atomic bomb. This is not a joke, nor is it an insult. It’s simply an announcement that a) this bar serves rosé and b) whoever wrote the sign knows the name of the most famous basketball player in the NBA (but not well enough to capitalize it correctly).

Even worse is that it is categorically false! LeBron loves rosé! As the responses to the tweet point out, he has Snapchatted videos in which he’s listening to Future while enjoying the refreshing varietal:

“Mmhhhmm!!!” That is a direct quote from LeBron James about his attitude toward rosé. The owners of that Marina bar should thank their lucky stars that LeBron is not the litigious sort, for there is more than enough evidence for an air-tight libel case.

Trash talk grade: F-