Bogdan Bogdanovic claims that he doesn’t really trash talk on the basketball court, at least not in English. Given that he’s newer to the language, he doesn’t think he has enough familiarity with American slang to adequately talk trash with NBA players.
There was one occasion, however, when Bogdanovic let the words flow, in English, because the moment demanded it.
On the latest episode of “Purple Talk” with James Ham, Bogdanovic was asked about his favorite game-winner, given that he’s become quite prolific in the clutch, and the third-year guard was definitive in his answer.
“I’m going to say Lakers because of rivalry and all that. You know how it goes. That’s a huge rivalry. I’m coming from Serbia, and we grew up with, you know, you have to choose the side of the fans you’re cheering for — Partizan or Red Star — and I like those rivalries, so I would choose that game.”
That shot was so important to Bogdanovic that he admitted to bending his trash-talk policy when the Lakers bench attempted to get him off his rhythm before the play. He told Ham that he thought his current head coach Luke Walton, then with the Lakers, yelled something at him on the inbounds.
“I remember is it Luke or someone from the bench said something like, ‘We know the play, blah blah blah,” or something like that.... And then I said, ‘Yeah, you know it’s for me’, because that was the only words I can say that sounds like trash talk, and then we run the play, I score, and then, that’s when I say, ‘I told you, I was mad’. That’s the moment i remember.”
Upon watching the replay, you can see Bogdanovic yell a few other things in English that aren’t fit to print, though he isn’t directing them to his opponents.
Quick Reminder: the Kings got Bogdanović along with Georgios Papagiannis, Skal Labissière and a future second-round pick in exchange for the draft rights of Marquese Chriss.— Oliver Maroney (@OMaroneyBIG3) December 28, 2018
Although Bogdanovic concedes that his English trash talk isn’t very good, he doesn’t often switch over to Serbian. He told Ham that referees are too quick to call technical fouls when they hear a player talking in his native language, so he resorts to talking to himself to get his emotions out rather than saying things to opponents.
When the season stopped, he was in the midst of one of his best stretches of the season, highlighted by a 27-point outing against Portland on March 7. The Kings appear to be ready to make a long-term commitment to him, considering they shed salary at the trade deadline in order to retain cap flexibility to re-sign Bogdanovic without going into the tax.
Even if his trash talk never improves, whatever Bogdanovic needs to do to get himself going appears to be working.