The national general-sports media has a nasty habit of public gross ignorance, especially when that gen-sports beat tends to be populated by “sports personalities” who don’t watch the sports about which they’re paid to pontificate.
Stephen A. Smith got caught offering hot takes on a college football player he didn’t actually watch play. Colin Cowherd is too busy starting beef with the Cleveland Browns to pay attention to basketball. And Max Kellerman has to be hearing “stick to boxing” in his sleep for all the times someone has said it to him after he offers up one of his absurd hot takes on other sports.
But even by that low standard, Skip Bayless got duped by a troll Twitter account in such spectacular fashion that anyone who still places a word of credibility in anything Bayless says just forfeited by proxy their right to offer up opinions when grown-ups are talking about sports.
The account in question is @SportsTalkBarry, whose display name is a cheap sexual pun that ought to clue the reader in to the fact that anything he says is not to be taken seriously.
Apparently, nobody told Bayless — or his production assistant on “Undisputed,” who no doubt was tasked with research for Skip’s show — about Barry’s reputation, because Skip took Barry at face value on a truly ridiculous rumor involving tensions between the Houston Rockets’ Chris Paul and James Harden.
“The reports are that this has been going on for two years,” Bayless said on Wednesday’s show. “There was the one report yesterday that it got so bad in practice going back two years ago that Chris Paul was making fun of James’ manboobs in practice to the point that he broke down in tears and had to leave a couple of practices.
“That’s when you’re hitting bottom.”
None of that is true, of course. It was completely made up out of whole cloth by a guy who nobody told Skip Bayless is basically a less funny version of Clickhole or The Onion.
The real unfortunate part of this whole incident is, as the adage goes, “A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its shoes on.”
Credulous fans are going to quote Skip’s — and therefore Barry’s — “report” at face value, and it will be repeated again and again.
Barry made other, equally unfunny jokes at the Houston stars’ expense, including one that asserted Harden “farted in Paul’s face while he was sleeping” and “gave him pinkeye.” What is this, middle school?
Once again, Bayless and his production assistant on “Undisputed” should be ashamed of themselves for their gullibility.
As for the Rockets, well, the last laugh’s on them, because even if Paul and Harden were the best of friends, like a good neighbor, Paul’s “supermax” extension is there, haunting Houston’s salary cap like the villain in an ’80s slasher movie for the next four years.
Seriously, though — how foolish do you have to be to fall for such a blatant parody?
Skip Bayless’ hot takes, to the extent that they weren’t already a national joke, certainly are now. Great job, Fox Sports.
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