Gary Payton is known as one of the greatest trash talkers of all-time. Though in this certain situation, he probably would take everything he said back. During an altercation with Ricky Pierce (his teammate) in Game 1 of the 1994 NBA playoffs, things got extremely heated.
You wouldn’t have expected such an outbreak due to the fact that the Seattle SuperSonics were steamrolling the Nuggets by 25 points going into halftime. But George Karl remembers vividly what happened.
He states: “Three years ago I didn’t see the first outbreak, but he and Ricky Pierce got into some kind of a discussion at halftime of the first Denver game, and they were threatening to get guns. The players told me they had guns in their bags. It was ‘I’ll kill your family.’ It was crazy.”
Gary Payton and Ricky Pierce’s hostile relationship continued through the series because in Game 3, Pierce was tired of Payton “taking too many shots” and said “he needed to pass the ball more.” Payton went on to say “if Ricky had a problem with me taking too many shots, he should’ve said something earlier.” Although they were up 2-0 in the series, the chemistry was falling apart and it showed in their play. The Nuggets pulled of a comeback and won the series.
Even to this day, no one knows exactly where the hostility aroused from.