Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban went on ESPN on Friday morning to absolutely devastate Skip Bayless' willfully ignorant view of pro basketball. It was a destructive, stunning and completely one-sided batch of brilliance from Cuban spurred on by smarts, nuance and research. And, because Skip Bayless doesn't care about being wrong just as long as the check clears and he's got someone with a strong enough Q Rating for the next segment, it made absolutely no impact. Thanks for trying, Mark, but we lost Skip a long time ago.
Here's the video, as provided by ESPN because it cares less about its employee being turned to ash on live TV and more about creating eyes for something that could go viral until the next "big" thing hits. Watch:
For the entire interview, in worse quality and possibly to be taken off YouTube soon by ESPN (as is its right), check out the clip starting at the 8:30 mark of this rip:
Skip Bayless, as he's admitted to his colleagues at ESPN, doesn't care to watch the games. The possession-by-possession nuance and adjustment and dictation of a pro basketball game doesn't matter much to him. What he's best at is creating easily digestible swings between the idea of Right and Wrong, and whatever the Right or Wrong is, it's the Rightiest Right or Wrongiest Wrong that's ever been seen in the annals of team or individual sports.
And, as is often the case with those who comment on pro basketball, Skip Bayless turns the NBA into an individual sport. That's just fine to do for a purpose of a column or comment on a radio or TV show — our personal take on Game 5 was all about LeBron James, we immediately gushed over Mike Miller following that, and we made our Oklahoma City postmortem mostly about Scott Brooks — but only if you allow for the myriad influences that stretch beyond one person's individual work to color your overall take of the game. Because even if you have your own NBA blog that you adore that allows you to write about what you want, whenever you want, you can't possibly hope to ever express all that you feel about the NBA as a whole in your or its entirety.
If you're doing it right, at least.
Skip doesn't care that he's doing it wrong. He'll take the verbal pie in the face for ratings. Cuban's interview may have been a major strike for those of us that like our NBA discussion to be thoughtful and well-researched, but this was just another Friday for Skip. Just another late morning working on a basic cable show, counting the days until he gets to talk about Tiger Woods at the British Open, or how Bud Selig is going to screw up the All-Star game, all before pro football's year-long preseason finally comes back around to save him and his declining ratings.
We appreciate what Mark does, clearly. We kind of like the idea of an owner of a pro basketball team shooting Skip Bayless "dude, you can't post-up a zone defense"-look. But we're not being overly cynical when we tell you that none of this matters.
The only thing we know about the game of basketball is that we're never, ever going to know enough. We wish Skip Bayless knew this.
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