Yesterday, Jalen Rose and Skip Bayless got into it a bit on ESPN’s First Take, where Jalen challenged Skip’s high school basketball prowess. Apparently, that struck a chord with Skip because today, ESPN decided to dedicate an entire segment to discussing whether or not people who did not play professional sports (or even collegiate athletics as well) are qualified enough to discuss sports. Well, actually, that’s where the conversation went. It originally began with Skip giving us a recollection of his high school basketball days. Yesterday Jalen called Skip “Water Pistol Pete” because he only averaged 1.4ppg as a senior in high school despite Skip talking up his own prowess previously. Skip had to have gone to programming and request some time in today’s show to address that claim because there’s no way anybody other than Skip wanted to address this.
As I’ve stated repeatedly, I think Skip Bayless is very good at what he does, but I was embarrassed for him as he was going into excruciating detail about why he only averaged 1.4ppg in high school. That had to rank as one of the lowest points in his First Take career.
As the debate got going, Stephen A. Smith jumped in to give his opinion as well. However, Skip and Stephen A. both missed Jalen’s point: calling Chris Bosh “Bosh Spice” and LeBron James “Prince James” isn’t cool. You can bash a guy for his performance but just leave it at that.
Personally, as someone who has followed sports since I’ve been able to comprehend anything, and as someone who has made the transition to covering sports and partaking in the “media-sphere” to a degree, I absolutely know that I can talk about any sport with anyone. In fact, I feel as if I can talk about an array of sports better than a former athlete of a particular sport can. That’s because they dedicate their life to just that sport. So when they transition to media, a former football player has only been paying attention to baseball or college basketball or golf, on the periphery. Not up close and personal like many of us in the blogosphere do.
To be clear, I would’ve given my right arm to play professional sports. Lord knows I tried. But I’m no less qualified to do this, regardless.
At the end of the day, I understand Jalen’s point, I understand Stephen A.’s point and…I still feel embarrassed for Skip. Here’s what went down today: