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James Harden says if ‘you’re a bum, you can’t talk trash’

The NBA is a haven for competitive players that just want to win. With that comes the eventual trash talking that occurs between players on the court, and Houston Rockets guard James Harden had some thoughts on that in a story by ESPN’s Tim MacMahon and Law Murray.

The story has comments from players from all around the NBA about what is and is not acceptable in terms of trash talking. It’s a fun story and deserves a full read.

One of the most interesting things to come out of it was Harden’s opinion on who should and should not talk trash. Basically, if a player doesn’t have very much notoriety — a player at the end of a bench, for example — they should not talk, per MacMahon and Murray.

“I mean, if you’re a bum, you can’t talk trash,” Harden said. “We won’t respect you. Obviously, you’ve got to be doing something. You’ve got to have a name or gotta be getting buckets to talk trash. Everybody can’t be talking trash.”

Harden is not reserving trash talk to only stars. He said guys can talk trash if they’re “getting buckets.” So on any given night, if a player is making everything and putting up 25 even though he doesn’t normally, he’s entitled to some trash talk in the moment.

But generally, that rule applies to any player in any sport. If you’re averaging three points per game and play for only a few minutes, you can’t be getting in other guys’ faces and mouthing off.

It’s just a bad look.