Skip Bayless has challenged Draymond Green to a home-and-home series.
In response to the Warriors forward claiming earlier this week that Stephen A. Smith and Shannon Sharpe salvaged Bayless’ career, Bayless proposed a good old fashioned duel — in the debate format.
“HEY, DRAYMOND GREEN,” Bayless tweeted, in all caps, so you knew this was a serious matter. “There you go again, taking shots at me from a safe distance. LET’S GO HEAD-TO HEAD, your podcast or mine or BOTH. Let’s go deep on LeBron or Steph or YOU. Or anything NFL since you’re the ‘New Media.’ Real talk. Not fake-tough-guy stuff. I’M WAITING …”
Speaking with JJ Redick and Tommy Alter on a live podcast in New York earlier this week, Green cited Bayless as his favorite “f–k you” — in a parade of them since he and the Warriors won their fourth NBA title together earlier this week.
“F–king guy sucks,” Green said.
After an aside, Green continued to go in on Bayless.
“To absolutely destroy Skip Bayless, I’ll never see the rebuttal, but I’m sure he was as s–tty as when Stephen A. just crushed him last week. He looked like he was about to cry when he was responding to Stephen A,” Green said.
“The reason you should believe Stephen A., and I’m not just saying this because he’s my guy, but Shannon [Sharpe] actually saved him [Bayless] when he went to the next network. When Stephen A. comes out and says that ‘the show [First Take] was suffering and I saved it,’ you’d be a fool not to believe it because the show was suffering and then Shannon came on and saved [‘Undisputed’].”
Last week, Bayless explained in thorough detail that he loves Smith as a brother, but was “blindsided” by the insinuation that he needed Smith to salvage “First Take” after a torrid stretch of ratings in the 2011 Tim Tebow phenomenon — before Smith joined the show as a daily debate combatant in April of 2012.
The two later hashed things out in a “difficult conversation” by the pool at Bayless’ Los Angeles-area home.
As far as what Green says about Sharpe, this is a bit of revisionist history.
Bayless was poached away from ESPN in 2016 by former “First Take” producer Jamie Horowitz, who was in charge of FS1 at the time, for a four-year, $24 million deal. Horowitz also hired Sharpe to join Bayless.
This was not a moment in Sharpe’s career where he was the hottest commodity.
Sharpe was let go from CBS Sports’ NFL studio show in early 2014. He appeared on ESPN afterwards, but was not elevated to be a daily talk show talent in those couple of years before joining Bayless at FS1.
This is not a knock on Sharpe, who has been an exceptional foil to Bayless on “Undisputed,” but the implication that Bayless’ career would have wilted without him is not rooted in the reality of the beginning of their partnership.
In today’s sports media industry, Sharpe may have been able to bootstrap a cult of personality on his own podcast and digital video, and thrive as an independent. However, six years ago was a bit of a different time where it was more essential to appear on an institutional TV platform to ascend to media stardom.