In typical buffoonery that has come to characterize his career at ESPN, Skip Bayless freaked out on NBA reporter Chris Broussard during another forgettable moment on
Cold Pizza First Take Monday. Around the 3-minute mark of this video, Bayless felt backed into a corner because his uninformed, laughable logic had been shot to hell by Broussard, who is one of ESPN’s top NBA reporters. So Bayless came out swinging: “You’re way too close [to LeBron] to have any objectivity … you sold your journalistic soul to get close to him.”
Broussard, who I hear is very religious and almost always sounds intelligent, loses it by the end of their “debate” when he shouts, “you trippin’, you trippin’.”
People have been asking this for years, but it is worth mentioning again – why would any credible journalist go on that show to “debate” Bayless, a hyperbolic clown who lost all credibility a decade ago?
Broussard was a credible journalist who was at the New York Times earlier this decade, and he was at the forefront of the LeBron James reporting last summer. Is he in love with the idea of being on TV that much? Is he addicted to that TV drug, and that’s why he’s slumming it on First Take? (Of course, it could be part of the TV clause in his contract.) Sometimes I cringe when I see quality writers like Jemele Hill or Pat Forde tweet that they’re going on First Take to banter with Skip. Woody Paige was smart to leave this show so that he could write columns in Denver again. Sometimes, the money isn’t worth it.
Bayless was pretty clearly forced by ESPN higher-ups to apologize to Broussard today, and here’s the gist of what he said (if video surfaces, I’ll add it [UPDATE: Mediate has video]) through clenched teeth:
“In the heat of that debate, Chris said a couple things about me that I found offensive. I thought Chris questioned my integrity. And yesterday, in the heat of the debate, I questioned Chris’s integrity. I deeply regret that. I went too far. We spoke for about an hour last night, and I told him I was sorry for doing that. I have the utmost regard for Chris Broussard as a reporter. No finer reporter do I know … I have high regard for Chris as a human being. If nothing else, I hope this deepens or friendship.”
Uh, Skip, where in the video above does Chris “question your integrity?” Unfortunately, Bayless gets the last laugh. The word on the street in Bristol is that he’s making anywhere from $600k – $750k per year.
[video via Steve Spoiler]
[UPDATE: An ESPN spokesperson says the apology was Bayless's idea, not a company directive.]