Don’t you hate it when you’re on a roll and some conversation-watchdog ruins your argument with pesky annoyances like facts and truth? That’s probably how Skip Bayless feels right now after making some larger-than-life claims that turned out to be untrue when his commentary failed a fact-check.
The ESPN personality has made some exaggerated claims before, but his comment last week caught special attention. During a rant-fest concerning Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russel Westbrook, Bayless said that he played just like Westbrook… when he was in high school. “FYI: I started for high school team that lost in state finals. Coach didn’t like me b/c I shot too much and he wanted me to be more PG,” Bayless tweeted.
Now if Bayless had stuck to television, he’d probably be alright. But posting something to the Internet pretty much guarantees someone will see it, furrow their brow, and check it out. And, oh, hey, that’s exactly how it happened. A website called TheLostOgle, based out of Oklahoma City, did some digging and found scans of the 1969 and 1970 Northwest Classen High School yearbook. Northwest Classen is Bayless’ alma mater where he was a senior in 1970. The yearbook showed stats of every player on the basketball team, including Bayless himself. In 1969, Bayless didn’t play a single game for the varsity team, but did some time with JV. 1970, his senior year, Bayless played in 15 of the team’s 22 games, scoring a total of 21 points. Northwest Classen went 20-2 to the state finals that year.
Just to clarify on Westbrook’s behalf, he has played in 302 games for the Thunder (NBA) for an average of 34.2 minutes, 19 points, 6.8 assists, and 4.7 rebounds.
Do you think Skip Bayless needs to get his facts straight before speaking next time, or is this an honest mistake?