Anyone who has paid even a little attention to Skip Bayless, ESPN's resident shit talker, they know a few things. First off he loves to stir up the pot. He loves to trash talk athletes under the guise of being honest, and he loves to come up with nicknames for players denigrating them, such as calling LeBron James the "Frozen One" instead of "The Chosen One" or "LeBrick" due to his supposed lack of "Clutch Gene."
Aside from James, Bayless' favorite target as of late seems to be Oklahoma City Thunder player Russell Westbrook. He feels that with Westbrook taking the majority of the shots, instead of Kevin Durant, that the Thunder are a worse team for it. So he rips Westbrook so much that even Kevin Durant finally told Skip to shut the hell up and that he didn't know what he was talking about. Durant said that they're actually a better team when Russell is shooting and Durant is faciliating.
So to sort of back up his opinions on Westbrook, Skip went to twitter and posted about his own high school basketball career. Because we all know next to NBA, high school ballin' is where it's at. So he talked about how he also wanted to be the shooting guy, and said he viewed himself as a "Pistol Pete Maravich" while his coach disagreed.
MORE AFTER THE BREAK
His point seemingly being that he had to swallow his pride and take one for the team, just as Westbrook should. And he posted this up because it seemed that he was trying to say that he was qualified to speak on this. Often you hear athletes rip columnists and talking heads saying that "you didn't play the game so you can't criticize me". So this appeared to be an end run around that criticism.
Funny thing about that whole thing though. It seems that when you make your living as an asshole and you say something that can be verified, people tend to want to verify it. And verify it they did. Turns out that Bayless wasn't exactly honest about his high school exploits.
The Oklahoma City blog "The Lost Ogle" got ahold of high school yearbooks from Skip's Junior and Senior years in high school and found the stat sheets of those years and found that Skip's claims are not all they are supposed to be.
Over the weekend, we acquired through the Ogle Mole network some scans from the 1969 and 1970 Northwest Classen High School Yearbooks. Not coincidentally, that was Skip’s junior and senior year at the once suburban high school. The yearbooks contain team photos, season recaps and even individual player stats for the basketball team. Basically, they let you know if Skip’s claims of high school basketball glory were true and accurate, or if they were just wild lies pulled from the ass of the elder douche bag of annoying sports commentators.
We’ll begin with the 1969 yearbook. That was Skip’s junior year of high school, and the proud moment in his life when he became leader of…the JV team.
Knowing that Skip spent his junior year leading the JV team, it’s probably not too far-fetched to think he dramatically improved during the off-season and spent his senior year as the starting point guard for a team that would finish the year 20-2 and as the runner-up for the state title.
Actually, that is kind of far-fetched, but obviously an esteemed, professional and trustworthy journalist like Skip Bayless wouldn’t make-up a trivial lie about leading his high school basketball team. Let’s see if the yearbook backs him up.
Yep, Skip Bayless scored a grand total of 21 points in 15 games as the “starting” point guard for the 1970 state runner-up. That averages out to 1.4 points per game. Considering his coach didn’t like him because he “shot too much,” you have to wonder how low his field goal shooting percentage was.
I encourage you all to go to The Lost Ogle's page and see the scans they have posted showing pictures of Skip with the teams, and the scans of the stat sheets exposing Skip's exaggerations.
Now normally this would not be that huge of a deal. I mean it WOULD be a big deal, but I think that it's made all the much worse because of who Skip is. Skip invites this vitriol on to him because of the vitriol he dishes out. He spends his days on ESPN railing against professional athletes and casting out judgement on their personal and professional lives.
He has been called out for his alleged race-baiting against African American athletes in the past and there are many who think he is racist. I don't know that he is racist and four of his five favorite players in the NBA (Dywane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony) are African American so I don't know if he goes after them specifically. It may just be that the greatest targets for his venom -- to give him headlines and have people talking about him -- just happen to be African American. I think if there were megastar white athletes that he had issues with he'd go after them just as hard, if he felt it would get him attention.
My thing about this though is that I'm shocked that Skip thinks he can go in on people day in and day out with such unbridled hatred and venom and not expect shit to blow back on him when something blows up in his face, such as this has.
Did the man learn NOTHING from Jay Mariotti?
For those who are not familiar with Mariotti, he used to be on ESPN's Around the Horn, and a couple other ESPN shows as well as being a writer from the Chicago Sun-Times. He was also an all around asshole and almost universally despised by everyone, even those he worked with. He, much like Bayless, made his career on being the guy who would call out professional athletes for their shortcomings in their personal lives.
He would rail against athletes whenever they got in trouble and showed no mercy in doing so.
Then a funny thing happened. Mariotti got arrested for alleged domestic violence, and his world caved in on top of him. The sheer glee and joy emanating from the internet was quick and savage. The Schadenfreude was so thick in the air it would choke you.
And Mariotti received it a million times over, and to this day he's still never been back on ESPN and last I heard he was working at some internet site writing articles or something.
Does it matter to people that there are a lot of unanswered questions about the allegations against Mariotti? Does it matter that, if you believe Mariotti's side, that the LAPD and the DA totally flubbed the case and things were lined up against him in the whole thing? That he was not abusive towards his ex girlfriend, but that SHE was the one who was abusive towards him, due to her problems with drinking? I'm guessing for most people the answer would be no.
Mariotti was always an abrasive and kind of a jerk of a person, to be honest. I don't know that he would disagree with that sentiment. I think he'd consider it being honest and blunt and a straight shooter, but the facts remain that the overwhelming majority of people out there despised him and when he got in trouble they immediately rejoiced. This was a case of what goes around comes around.
As much as I despised him, I tend to believe his side of the story. But it doesn't really matter at this point. He wrote a book called "The System" that is available on EBOOK where he goes through the case and the entire situation. I am looking forward to getting a copy of that sometime and reading it because it seems interesting. But the majority of folks out there won't care. To them this is a case of a bad guy getting what was coming.
And that's the exact reaction that Skip Bayless is getting due to his long history of being a mean and vindictive person. Charles Barkley has been on record as wanting to beat the shit out of Skip (or worse). Terrell Suggs called him a douchebag on the air, and today things took an even stranger turn.
While Bayless was once again going off on Russell Westbrook by pretending to endorse him for the MVP, Jalen Rose, the co-host for the day, totally WENT THERE!
Despite Skip saying "We're going to get to that later", they never did. And I suspect they probably won't. I also suspect Jalen Rose might be getting some time off, as Skip is rumored to pretty much run that show and I'm sure that there's some people at "The Sports Leader" that may not be too enamored with Rose calling Skip out like that.
I think it's an amazing piece of video and I would love to see Skip's defense. Perhaps he has a logical explanation for this. Perhaps he has a perfectly reasonable explanation as to why his tweets seemed to give a different impression of his high school days than the reality of the situation.
Until then we'll just have to sit back and enjoy the schadenfreude as another in a long line of mean people get their just desserts.