NBA players today are so soft they make McDonald's ice cream look like granite rock. All these twitter wars and hurt feelings give new meaning to the term fragile ego. How could a bunch of over grown men who become millionaires before their 21st birthday take random comments so seriously? These oversensitive athletes all need a group hug. Can you imagine if Gary Payton was on the floor in 2012?
Would Lebron James be able to sleep at night? Would Charlie Villanueva burst into tears in the middle of a game? Would DeMarcus Cousins need to take a leave of absence for personal reasons? There is no doubt the NBA has better athletes than in years past, but the league lacks toughness. Players have a difficult time enduring constructive criticism or any kind of trash talking whatsoever.
Gary Payton was a master at psychological warfare. As a longtime Sonics fan I had the pleasure of watching him talk players out of their game on numerous occasions. Gary had the ability to make the most confident player question themselves. He could turn a 25 point scorer into a total headcase just by talking about their mama or girlfriend. In a league where you can't even throw a punch without getting suspended for 5 games Payton's antics would be extremely effective.
The modern day athlete forgets that sports is 90% mental. You have to have a short memory and control of your emotions. Comments made in the heat of battle should be taken with a grain of salt. The great ones let their play speak for itself and block out all the nonsense. If a little trash talking can derail your focus you don't deserve to be a champion.