Oh hell nah.
Dennis Schroder and Dewayne Dedmon have heard those words frequently when lining up a corner 3-pointer precariously close to the opposition’s bench. The two Hawks players also used the phrase themselves, perhaps in its cleanest version, when an adversary ventures too close to enemy territory.
Kent Bazemore hit a shot, turned around and flashed a smile.
Take that Floyd Mayweather.
The simple gesture was the spoils of a made corner 3-pointer intended to add insult to injury to the trash-talking celebrity in the high-rent district.
The confines of an NBA court allow a mere three feet between the money arc and the sidelines occupied by benches and fans.
And everyone has something to say within earshot at the distance less than a rack of basketballs.
“You hear a lot of different things,” said Dedmon, the 7-footer who has recently added the long-rang shot to his repertoire and his certainly the subject of sarcasm. “There’s a lot I’m not going to say but there is ‘That’s 3 down,’ ‘He can’t shoot,’ a lot of different things. …
“You are locked into the shot but you hear words. You are not deaf.”
There is certainly a good deal of trash talk in the NBA. Most is not audible to those watching on television or in the stands. But see a player hit a corner 3-pointer in front of an opposing bench and watch the inevitable stare down that follows and be sure he had voices in this ear.
“In front of the opposing bench, some guys scream, even some coaches,” Bazemore said. “Some animated coaches will jump up behind you or beside you to be in your periphery. Guys screaming ‘Hell nah.’ You get some of everything.
“You feel good when you make one over there. You see guys turn around and look at the bench. A guy like Steph Curry who shoots it and while the ball is in the air turns and looks at the bench. It’s all showmanship and part of the game.”
While the pressure is certainly on to knock down a shot in such proximity to the opposition, try squaring up in front of your own bench.
“It’s the exact opposite,” Bazemore said. “You can feel your guys standing up, anticipating the make. They are mainly quiet, like a funeral procession, when you shoot in front of your own bench. When it goes down, you takes those few steps back falling away and a few of your teammates grab you, push you back, slap you on the head. It’s a great feeling both ways.”
Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said he has seen his fair share of celebrations before basketball found net.
“You feel like there some pressure when you are in front of your bench and the ball’s been moved and you are wide open in front of your bench,” Budenholzer said.
While Dedmon and others may hear plenty of smack talk, a player such as Kyle Korver hears it less. Much less. When one of the best 3-pointer shooters in NBA history lines up, not many want to risk having to eat their words. That’s Trash Talk 101.
“I think benches, in general, there is a lot of chatting going on on both sides, said Korver, the former Hawks and current Cavaliers player. “For sure, if you are not a good shooter and you are shooting the corner 3 in front of the opposing bench, you’ll see a lot of times guys will look back at the bench and say something. Usually, that’s because somebody said something to them first. There is always a lot of chatter in those corners. …
“I usually don’t hear much on the opposing side. On the home side, people are already counting it in. So, I hear that before I shoot it and sometimes it will throw you off a little bit.”
Korver said the interaction is part of the game and part of the good-natured fun. It’s part of what makes sports great, he said, for players and fans.
It certainly will continue. Especially if Dedmon has something to say. Which he does.
“I’ve definitely got something to say every time,” Dedmon said. “You are going to hear me. Words, yelling. …
“Players definitely talk more. Fans have always got something to say but when you are in front of the opposing team’s bench, there are a lot of people that have something to say.”