Sometimes it seems like the media are playing the jealous
ex-girlfriend because they can no longer get the attention from the
players, so they just start saying crazy, wild stuff.
Baron Davis told me this while discussing the state of too many
members of the current media.
Personal attacks have become commonplace. Now a part of everyday
"journalism," there are desperate attempts to elicit a response
from an athlete by continuously making them the focal point of
their commentary, reporting, articles and hot takes.
Very few exemplify this more than FOX Sports 1 television
personality Skip Bayless.
Throughout the course of LeBron James’ career — appearing to be
oddly obsessed with him — Skip has unleashed countless attacks. In
fact, he has made an entire career off of LeBron criticism. It’s
been Skip's shtick for over a decade, and he has been well
compensated for it in past by ESPN and, now, FOX.
But what’s more impressive is that — throughout the countless
onslaught of daily venom thrown in his direction by Skip — LeBron
has never once responded to him, never lashed out or attempted to
defend his honor or name. After over a decade of desperate, failed
pleas for attention from someone, one would think that, eventually,
the person would move on.
Not Skip, though, who appears to have a Steve Urkel-level of
resiliency, as he refuses to give up his quest for acknowledgment.
So now, in an even more feeble and self-disgracing attempt, he has
turned to LeBron’s teenage son, Bronny James.
Monday night, Bronny went viral for an amazing play that
elicited praise from all corners of the sports world.
In a game against the U18 French Select Team, Bronny dribbled
the length of the floor, completed an impressive in-and-out with
his left hand on the left side of the floor and attacked the
basket. He took the ball through contact and dunked it with his
right hand, bringing the entire crowd to its feet, which drew
praise from every corner of social media.
However, never missing an opportunity to criticize any and
everything LeBron, Skip took this opportunity to focus his
attention on Bronny for not using his left hand to dunk instead of
using his right hand.
Hey, Bronny ... impressive. But your dad
would've dunked it left-handed. You sure got away with it,
“It shocked me last night when my tweet exploded,” Bayless said.
“Because I wasn’t criticizing Bronny, I was merely commenting on a
young man who is going to be a focal point for this show and
everybody else from this point forward.”
In reality, this is quite disingenuous. Skip knows exactly what
he is doing.
He throws out the bait, which comes in the form of a
LeBron-related criticism to cause some type of a stir and places
Skip at the center of the topic, and then, makes that the focal
point of "Undisputed" in an attempt to drive ratings. Again, this
has been his shtick for many years, and has proven to be quite
beneficial for him. Just look at his salary.
Skip Bayless is paid an absurd amount of money to do what he
does. It’s not just that he has a weird infatuation with LeBron, or
that Lebron simply lives rent-free in his mind. But he is also
being compensated what equates to a professional athlete’s salary
to do exactly what he is doing. In March 2021, Skip signed a $32
million deal over four years to stay with FOX, according to reports. So yes,
Skip has built an entire career off of criticizing athletes —
LeBron in particular.
He claims to be completely unaware of how he is viewed, and has
proclaimed that he doesn’t see himself as one of the main
contrarians of the sports world.
“I have often been called a contrarian,” Bayless said on the June 2 episode of
The Skip Bayless Show. “And I deeply despise the term 'contrarian.'
To me, a contrarian is someone who delights in taking the opposite
view of a popular belief or conventional thinking, just because
that person enjoys attracting attention to himself, or herself. Yet
that person, that contrarian, often doesn’t often truly believe
what he or she is saying. So to me, a contrarian goes against the
grain just to go against the grain.”
Skip, let’s be honest — that is exactly who you are.
You have made a career of contrarian commentary mostly directed
at LeBron James, but you are not the real villain in this. The real
villains are the organizations who pay you a king's ransom to do
what you do.