Annoying TV Analyst Skip Bayless Responds To New TV Analyst Shaquille O’Neal
Skip Bayless promised he'd have plenty to say on Shaq calling him out last night, and today on First Take, he and a mini-panel (Mark Schlereth and Rob Parker) responded. And if you were thinking there'd be fireworks (as, okay, fine, we kind of thought there would be), you were left wanting. Instead, Bayless (who seemed more amused by Shaq's shot than anything) & Co. calmly(!) mused on the nature of superstardom, and how it impacts one's views on, and knowledge of, the game they played so well.
Shaq, of course, said he didn't like it when people who lacked have the type of track record he did as a player (important to remember: 10-15 guys in NBA history have the type of track record Shaq did as a player) would criticize him. The potential problem with that, Bayless said: being a great player may actually be a detriment to analyzing the ins and outs of the game, and critiquing others. Some players were just so good, in other words, that maybe they never had to deeply analyze the game.
That's not to say superstars don't work hard - part of what made Michael Jordan the greatest ever was that no one worked harder, and that no one had a greater drive to win. But he paired those traits with some spectacular talent. You could give almost anyone Jordan's drive and determination - that's not making them into Michael Jordan, and perhaps that's tough for someone like Jordan to grasp.
So maybe, if you're in the business of evaluating players - whether it be in a media or coaching/front office capacity - it's best to be someone who doesn't pick up everything so easily, who needs to work as hard as possible, and study the game as much as possible, to maximize whatever natural abilities one has. And that...makes some sense, honestly. As the First Take group allowed, there are exceptions to the "great players don't make good analysts/coaches/executives" rule, but there's a reason why so many (Jordan included) haven't succeeded in those roles. Video below, so we can start to get over the shock of just sort of responding to a First Take segment in a way that doesn't involve complaining about how loudly people were yelling.*
*None of the above should in any way be interpreted as saying that analysts should go about the criticism in the exact way Bayless does.
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