Gary Payton trash talked Ron Harper while they helped kids do crafts

It was just like old times for Gary Payton and Ron Harper when they sat down to help kids make Valentines. (JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)
It was just like old times for Gary Payton and Ron Harper when they sat down to help kids make Valentines. (JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)

Old habits die hard. Gary Payton and Ron Harper have a long history, and the instincts from their playing days are still there, just under the surface, waiting to come out. On Thursday, they had the opportunity to show them off. Were they at a pick-up game? Or coaching some high schoolers? Perhaps shooting around with some current NBA stars?

No, they weren’t doing any of those things. Payton and Harper were at a children’s hospital, helping kids make Valentine’s Day crafts. And the old habit they — or Payton, at least — showed off wasn’t a basketball skill, but one of the most important and underrated skills any athlete can have: trash talking.

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Payton whipped out his best, non-sports trash talk, dragging Harper in front of small children for making an inadequate toilet paper roll butterfly.

“Look, Harp, you can’t even get close to what she just made,” is how Payton started. Harper tried to defend himself, but Payton was relentless. Laughing the whole time, Payton held up a complete butterfly with wings, and criticized Harper’s for having no “arms.”

Harper managed to respond “I’m coming for you, I’m coming,” as he intensely rolled up a glue stick so he could continue his quest to make a toilet paper roll butterfly that passed Payton’s high standards.

Kids have to learn about the fine and gentle art of trash talk sometime. Who better to learn from than Gary Payton and Ron Harper?

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