From one of the first tweets on Skip Bayless’ profile it would appear that he is enjoying his vacation. FoxSports1’s Undisputed is off this week and there is a picture of him hanging out at Lil’ Wayne’s house. A couple of millionaires enjoying an evening being rich. It would be logical to think that this is how someone like Bayless would spend his time away from the daily grind of his show.
Except, this is Skip Bayless that we’re talking about. Sure he needs some R&R, but nothing gives him more energy than spewing takes. In the tweet notifying fans of Undisputed that the show would not be airing this week, Bayless eased the fears of an America without his point of view on television for a week, and let it be known that he will be tweeting.
Bayless started earlier that day. Russell Westbrook saw that during the NBA Draft last Thursday, as Bayless sent out a tweet using the name, Westbrick, that Russ hates so much. In a quote tweet, a clearly unhappy Westbrook told Bayless not to make statements he wouldn’t make in person. Bayless then went all 1994 Jim Rome on him, but in true Bayless form, he follows no one on Twitter, he didn’t respond to the Westbrook tweet, he made a brand new post.
That wasn’t all the smoke that Bayless had for athletes during his break. Draymond Green linked up with J.J. Redick for a combined live-audience podcast, and was enthusiastic about sticking it to Bayless with his latest NBA Championship. A few days prior on an episode of Green’s podcast he went after Bayless for not knowing enough about basketball and for “attaching himself” to LeBron James for years to advance his own career. At the live show, Redick’s co-host, Tommy Alter, asked Green who his favorite “fuck you,” was after winning. His response was Bayless, “fucking guy sucks.”
Bayless had enough of Green and issued the same challenge to him that he offered to Westbrook — a debate. This time it was Bayless acting like Green only wants to talk bad about Bayless if he is not in the room. If athletes are upset with Bayless then in his mind the best way to address it is for them to appear on his platforms. He tried for years to get James on First Take when he was at ESPN, but how would that have benefited James? Now here Bayless is again, now at FS1, trying to get people to come argue their point with him in at 7 a.m. or on his newest venture the Skip Bayless Show podcast, maybe even a combined pod with Green
There has to be a better way to spend a vacation with the level of money that Bayless has. He reportedly makes $8 million per year. Turks and Caicos, South of France, the Maldives, are all much better places to be than on a phone clapping back at Green and Westbrook. Vacation isn’t the time to scream at people to do things that you know they won’t do.
Of course Bayless has an image to maintain among his fans, especially if he wants a younger audience. It’s why he stays buff at 70 years old. Bayless can’t appear fragile or his entire image goes out the window. He’s the big tough guy from Oklahoma, shouting into the abyss, demanding that people talk to him in public if they feel offended. I still remember when he was calling Chris Bosh, “Bosh Spice” because of his play for the Miami Heat. Bayless thought Bosh was soft. Bosh went on First Take, and Bayless refused to commit to stop using the nickname. I didn’t feel like any understanding was reached, but Bayless won because there was a special reason for people to watch that episode and he was somewhat validated.
When players talk to him face-to-face about something that he’s said, it always makes him look better. It still would even if he appeared on the Draymond Green Show. Any time Bayless is on TV across the table from another athlete it makes Bayless almost an authority figure. It’s as if his criticisms are so important that they have to be addressed urgently.
It’s why Green and Westbrook will likely never appear on his podcast or show. Bayless gains more from it than they do, because he cares enough to crack into his vacation time to ask people to debate him. No island paradise is necessary for Bayless to recover from his workload. He gains more energy by yelling from his island of one.