ESPN Radio host and NBA Today podcast maven Ryen Russillo mentioned at one point during last year's playoffs that Skip Bayless doesn't actually watch the games he tends to comment on. Not just NBA games, mind you, but "games" in general. And this was not only coming from someone like Russillo (as sound a basketball mind as we have covering the game right now), who watches a ton of games, but from an ESPN employee. ESPN kind of likes to keep things in-house, no matter how dysfunctional the house gets, and come down hard if there's anything less than a united front.
So, having not read a single word Skip Bayless has written since the late 1990s, and after not watching a second of him on "Around the Horn" and/or whatever his current chat show is called, I was hesitant to rip the guy while using the same standards he's used for years to "cover" sports. I mean, I have a feeling that Bayless is a pillock of the highest order, an unfortunate carbon-based walker and talker in a suit somebody else paid for, but I have no way of knowing because of my abject lack of research. Something about not being able to afford the 10-martini lunch that would have to follow a viewing of his work every morning.
But because Bosh showed up to "debate" Bayless on Wednesday morning, and because there is a paucity of NBA topics to comment upon at this point, I had to dive in. Pass the vermouth:
Bosh, to use his own words, didn't "stink it up on the court" last year. Working in an offense that didn't cater to him as a first option for the first time in his basketball career, he still managed to average about 19 points and eight rebounds this season. Bosh essentially worked the same as he has for years, except with fewer touches and a whole lot of shots that had to go up late in the shot clock after previous options had been defended properly.
There is no easier target in the NBA than Chris Bosh, at this point, and yet no person with even a passing knowledge of the game of basketball (much less the NBA as an entity) would look anything less than a fool for ripping Chris Bosh as the reason for Miami's myriad failings.
(Miami being the team that was a couple of wins away from an NBA title with Joel Anthony and Mike Bibby starting, by the way.)
But foolishness has never got in Bayless' way, throughout his many media stops. He's not so much a contrarian as he is obsessed with keeping the pittance of being "known" amongst sports media circles. This show is his finest outlet, his best work. He's on a basic cable network on weekday mornings, feigning apoplexy in order to sustain people knowing his name. There's no substance there, and arguing against his "points" isn't the point. He doesn't believe what he's saying. How could he, given his lack of knowledge?
No, his game is to pick what appears to be the weakest point in any popular thread and prattle on despite ignoring weaker, more significant points that would immediately spring to the forefront were he not spending his evenings watching reality TV while on his treadmill. Whenever the next Super Bowl-ready team hires a too-young coach or a 95-win baseball team has issues with its closer, Bayless will hop on because, let's face it, it sounds about right. To those who haven't been right about anything in their life, at least, with the latest decision being to watch Skip Bayless on TV on a Wednesday morning working as their most recent example of such.
I wouldn't suggest trying to make your way through the entire video. Use the Bayless approach, and revel in your ignorance.
- Skip Bayless
- Chris Bosh