There’s a pretty good chance you can’t stand ESPN First Take mainstay Skip Bayless. That, of course, is just how he’d like it. He’s a professional troll, pretty much – he’s out for your attention, good or bad. If he gets it – and he does get it, and from some prominent people – he wins, even if the attention he’s getting is negative (which it usually is). The point is, people are listening.
One particular Bayless-hater, though, used the tail end of an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show today to test the limits of Bayless’ “any publicity is good publicity” standards. That Bayless-hater: TNT’s most outspoken NBA analyst, Charles Barkley. Barkley’s outspokenness, you’ll see below, applies to his least favorite television sports personality as well:
We saw that and thought, “Wow.” But really, there wasn’t much to be surprised about: as Deadspin said, Barkley’s noted before that there are two people on earth he’d like to kill, and Bayless is one of them. This is taking it far beyond the normal (or, um, healthy) levels of Bayless hate, and Barkley was a bit more reserved in Patrick’s presence, merely saying he hates Bayless “more than any person in the word.” We’re assuming that includes the guy Barkley heaved through a plate glass window, though, so still – strong statement. And of course, if you’re going to rip an ESPN personality, Patrick’s as sympathetic an audience as you can hope for.
As for Bayless himself? Well, as usual, he didn’t let getting noticed go unnoticed:
To Charles Barkley: My favorite Proverb is 23:9.
A little different from Bayless’ invitation to Aaron Rodgers to come on First Take after Rodgers ripped him. (Of course, the nature of Barkley’s critique was a little different, too.) No matter what Bayless says, though, it’s hard not to think he’s happy to have gotten under the skin of another person. Indeed, in Barkley’s case, it seems ol’ Skip’s burrowed in so deep that he’s never far from Sir Charles’ mind. That’s how Skip Bayless operates: say provocative things, outlandish things, until for whatever reason, you just can’t ignore him. And say, what’s that favorite proverb of Skip’s say again?
Do not speak to a fool, for he will scorn the wisdom of your words.
Sounds about right.