20 Athletes Who Talked Smack Better Than They Play

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2013

20 Athletes Who Talked Smack Better Than They Play

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    We all know that talking trash is a key element in sports.

    Whether that's done through the media (as Shaq used to do), through social media (as many other players still do), or on the court (as Kevin Garnett chooses), all are forms of getting inside another player's head.

    There's a saying that goes, "Don't let your mouth write a check that you can't cash," and these athletes should remember to stick to that mantra, thanks to their mouth being more of an asset than their actual game.

Nate Robinson (Chicago Bulls)

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    He may be short in stature, but the former Washington Huskie standout has the ego the size of the Grand Canyon.

    We'd like to think it's just little man complex, but for someone who typically only sees 20 minutes or so a game, he acts as if he's the belle of the ball a lot of times.

    Props on being the only three-time Dunk Contest winner, that's pretty impressive.

Carlos Zambrano (MLB Free Agent)

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    Carlos "Big Z" Zambrano is one of the most outspoken players on the diamond, yet outside a couple solid seasons with the Cubbies, he's been a major disappointment—especially when considering what he was getting paid.

    A combination of poor performances and a bad attitude have cost Zambrano a chance with another team this year after the Marlins declined to re-sign him after last season.

    At this point, it's doubtful he'll do anything to prove a front office to take a gamble on him.

Charlie Villanueva (Detroit Pistons)

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    His trash-talking feud with Kevin Garnett is widely known, but even after he claims to have put things behind him with the Celtics forward, he continues to run his mouth.

    Most recently, the oft-unproductive Pistons big man went after current Kings player Isaiah Thomas (not the former Detroit great), basically attacking his height and overall play.

    For a guy who makes way too much money than he deserves, it's surprising he talks so much.

Adam Burish (San Jose Sharks)

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    The current Sharks Right Winger has strong feelings towards Chris Pronger, doesn't he?

    Winning a league title should be the greatest moment in any pro athlete's career, but while playing for the Blackhawks, Adam Burish didn't hesitate to take one last jab at the guy while getting interviewed afterwards.

    He has a total of 54 points in his entire career, so someone please remind us why he's dogging other guys again?

Brendon Ayanbadejo (Baltimore Ravens)

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    The Ravens linebacker is widely considered to be one of the biggest trash-talkers in the league, though he somewhat cowardly does it through his Twitter account to get his point across.

    We're not saying Brendon Ayanbadejo wasn't a solid contributor for the Super Bowl-winning team, what we're saying is that he shouldn't really be the vocal ambassador for their team.

Kenyon Martin (New York Knicks)

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    Sure, he was a former No. 1 overall pick, but besides playing in a couple finals alongside Jason Kidd in Jersey, what has Kenyon Martin done to leave his imprint on the league?

    He constantly finds himself amongst the biggest trash-talkers in the league as voted on by his peers, and gave us hands-down the funniest exchange between a player and an owner in NBA history when cursing out Mavs owner Mark Cuban.

Randy Moss (NFL Free Agent)

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    It's not that Randy Moss hasn't proven himself over the course of his 14-year career, he obviously has, but he makes the list because after years of boasting about himself and backing it up, he caused a stir during Media Day at this year's Super Bowl thanks to his mouth again.

    Whenever you throw the words "greatest of all time" out there, one better have the credentials to back it up. 

    Unfortunately, Moss has zero Super Bowl rings—though lots of yards and TDs—making him a probable Hall of Famer, but not the greatest we've ever seen.

Anthony Mundine (Boxer)

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    As a pro athlete, it's important to try and live up to all the trash talk one might be dishing out in order to save some embarrassment.

    In Australian boxer Anthony Mundine's case, he missed the memo, striking out numerous times while attacking opponents to try and get in their head's.

    It's hard to take a guy seriously when he says some of the things this guy does, which is why his most recent opponent bashed him by saying it'd be a "step back in his career," to fight him again.

    Talk about a low blow!

Daniel Carcillo (Chicago Blackhawks)

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    Daniel Carcillo's one of the toughest players in the NHL, but after a while we'd like to think he'd stop trying to agitate other players and try to step up his production.

    Playing the role of an instigator seems to be what the Blackhawks winger does best, so we doubt he'll change his ways any time soon.

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (PGA Golfer)

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    For a guy who has never won a single PGA Tour event, the Spanish golfer sure doesn't sell himself short when going after other players.

    That's what happened last year when he went after Tiger Woods, saying the greatest golfer of our generation was "beatable" before their match play round.

    For his effort and confidence, we applaud Gonzalo—all athletes should think they'll win—but after losing to Woods, we question his strategy.

Matt Hasselbeck (Tennessee Titans)

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    At this point in his career, Matt Hasselbeck's nothing more than just a backup, but that doesn't mean he still doesn't like to talk—a lot!

    His cockiness came out on national TV back in the 2004 NFC Wild Card game against the Packers in Lambeau, when he boldly accepted the overtime kickoff and said, "We want the ball, and we're going to score."

    They did neither.

    He then engaged in a Twitter war with Antonio Cromartie during the NFL Lockout a couple years ago, earning him a major threat from the defensive back.

Josh Beckett (Los Angeles Dodgers)

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    Some might just call Josh Beckett ultra-competitive, but his trash-talking has reached levels on the mound that he just can't back up.

    Sure, he's got a couple World Series titles, a few All-Star appearances and a fat contract, but for mostly underachieving, we'd like to see him step up his game a little bit more before challenging batters with his mouth as much as he does.

Baron Batch (Pittsburgh Steelers)

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    When a guy actually writes down his tips for how to properly trash-talk, one might think he's pretty good at it—or at least thinks he is?

    Regardless of the third-stringer getting under opposing players' skin or not, Baron Batch isn't shy to share his opinions on things, which is surprising considering he's surpassed just 80 total yards in his short career.

Nyjer Morgan (Yokohama DeNA BayStars)

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    Nyjer Morgan's alter ego, T-Plush, received a pretty good reaction from fans because he was so amusing, but now that he had to avoid signing a non-guaranteed Minor League deal and opted for the Japanese League, it's clear baseball people have gotten a bit fed up.

    His shot at one of the greatest players in the game, Albert Pujols a couple years ago, might be his low point in his trash-talking career.

Chael Sonnen (MMA Fighter)

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    With one of the loudest mouths in MMA, Chael Sonnen's attacked opponents not only inside the Octagon, but in the media as well.

    His primary target is fellow fighter Anderson Silva, who he's called "unpopular," "'the Michael Jackson of MMA" and "a dirt bag."

    This is the same Silva who has defeated Sonnen in their two meetings.

Metta World Peace (Los Angeles Lakers)

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    At one point in his career, the Lakers forward was respected as a fierce defender and one of the toughest players to match up against.

    Unfortunately, his talent has dropped off, yet his words continue to come.

    Having the luxury of playing with Kobe Bryant probably doesn't settle his ego much, so we fully expect Metta World Peace to keep talking and saying some ridiculous things.

A.J. Pierzynski (Texas Rangers)

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    For constantly being voted amongst the most disliked players in the sport, we just had to add the new Rangers catcher.

    He's proven to be tough as nails, a winner and an above average player, but a couple All-Star games isn't grounds for being a complete tool and saying whatever you want, if you ask us.

Bart Scott (NFL Free Agent)

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    Who knows where Bart Scott will end up playing this year after the Jets released him, but for entertainment purposes, we hope he catches on somewhere.

    With one of the great soundbites from the past couple years, he can at least provide some intimidation for a team.

    He runs his mouth like crazy, and has achieved a lot in his career—just not enough to think he can back everything up with his play.

Osi Umenyiora (NFL Free Agent)

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    Osi Umenyiora's had a pretty good career—remember that six-sack game?—but it's clear he used his status as an athlete in New York City to his advantage in order to garner attention.

    Constantly voicing his opinion on Twitter and in the media—mainly at Eagles RB LeSean McCoy—the current free agent was never quite dominant enough to let his game speak for him, though he thought he was.

Titus Young (NFL Free Agent)

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    In our eyes, there isn't a better example of an athlete who lacked the ability on the field yet still spoke as if he was one of the greatest receivers in football.

    Young's probably best known for his Twitter tirades more than anything else, but he lands at No. 1 because of his self-promotion as being better than former teammate Calvin Johnson.

    We doubt he's better, but if he actually is, the current free agent is clearly the only one who thinks it.