Is there such a thing as trash talking going too far? I know that Rose and Webber were really into trash talking, and Michael Jordan was also a master at it.
In the ESPN article on the Gholston suspension, there is a comment about the context for the punch to Lewan:
Gholston, a sophomore and a starter, said in a statement that he was provoked to react.
I get that Glolston was provoked. I also get that on the field, some players would do anything to gain an advantage. Does that mean anything can be said? I'm thinking about next year. Can Lewan say to Gholston, when they're on the ground after a play, just the two of them, [EDIT: My original hypothetical example was over the line for several bloggers, so I am striking / editing it. My original question, BTW, is not about what Lewan said or didn't say. I'm not speculating on that. I'm interested in whether or not trash talking can go too far.] "You're a ******* ****** ******, and your mother is a cranked out ****** ***** who'll do anything for her next fix. She'd even **** *** if someone paid her enough." Can Lewan do opposition research and throw out insulting but true statements about Gholston's relatives or friends or history to provoke Gholston to punch again?
Obviously, we're not talking about any public statements . . . the players know that you can't do politically incorrect things. But tactically, would players do something like that? I can easily imagine that there are some guys out there that have no personal boundaries.
Myself, I think things like that go over the line and are just wrong. But I can easily imagine some guys being big enough tools to do that kind of trash talking. More than once, I've seen Lewan described here as a "nasty" player who likes to ride donkeys, and he's not an idiot. He knows that the refs will be watching for Gholston, and all he has to do is pull Gholston's chain enough to get him ejected from the game.
I guess I'm wondering if players nowadays have an internal code tacitly agreed upon about what is ok and what is over the line, and not ok.