Charles Barkley joked that he would kill sports journalist Skip Bayless on national TV provided the former NBA star was diagnosed with a terminal illness.
The basketball Hall of Famer revealed his thoughts about bumping-off Bayless during an interview on the Dan Patrick Show, a syndicated radio offering that is also simulcast on the NBC Sports Network and other outlets.
“If you ever wondered what the last item on Charles Barkley’s bucket list is, wonder no more. The answer is simple: murder,” the New York Post quipped about Chuck’s comments.
Sir Charles, 54, the former Philadelphia 76er and Phoenix Suns star who was voted one of the NBA’s all-time greatest players, is an NBA analyst for the TNT network on Inside the NBA (alongside Kenny Smith, Shaquille O’Neal, and host Ernie Johnson) and other shows and is currently providing March Madness commentary on CBS. He also makes the round of other media channels.
Formerly Stephen A. Smith’s rhetorical sparring partner on ESPN First Take, the Tim Tebow-loving Bayless, who is known for his controversial opinion making, now co-hosts Undisputed on FS1 opposite Shannon Sharpe.
This is what Charles Barkley told Dan Patrick (a former ESPN anchor, a network he often refers to as the “mothership”) about his Bayless-related dying wish, which Patrick approvingly proposed with apparent tongue-in cheek as a possible pay-per-view event.
“You know what we should do for ratings? If I get a disease and I’m gonna die, how about you get Skip Bayless in here, and I’ll kill him live on national television?… I just want to get Skip Bayless in a room one time and just beat him like a dog…only if I knew I was going to die. Not if I’m gonna live. I don’t want to be in prison. As [Rick] Mahorn say, ‘They would love you in prison.'”
Rick Mahorn played in the NBA from 1980 to 1999 and currently does radio for the Detroit Pistons, with whom he won a championship in 1989.
In the same interview, Barkley revealed the big bucks that Michael Jordan wagered while MJ played golf and also claimed that he got a contact high when his Saturday Night Live dressing room was next door to musical guest Nirvana, the Ultimate Guitar website chronicled.
The equally opinionated Barkley’s dissing of Skip Bayless is apparently nothing new. “Over the years, the current TNT basketball analyst has referred to Bayless as a ‘punk,’ an ‘idiot’ and ‘the biggest jackass in the history of journalism,'” the Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News explained.
In 2009, Barkley named Bayless as one of two persons that he’d like to kill in an interview with then-Tonight Show host Jay Leno. The other person was former ex-ESPN Around the Horn panelist Jay Mariotti, according to the Washington Post.
“A few years later, Barkley told his co-hosts on Inside the NBA, ‘If I could get Skip Bayless in a room, you’d need DNA to find out who he was,'” the Inquirer added.
Back in 2011, Charles Barkley told Patrick that he hated Skip Bayless “more than any person in the world,” USA Today reported.
“Still, Thursday’s comments, even while clearly said in jest, might have gone too far. That said, perhaps the most stunning thing that could come out of Barkley’s mouth regarding Bayless would be an apology,” the Washington Post added about Barkley’s death wish.
“Charles Barkley knows how to get ratings. He said weird stuff all the time…Bayless makes a living being abrasive, but this feels pretty clumsy,” Yahoo Sports observed about the Barkley-Bayless scenario.
Skip Bayless has yet to respond on the air to Charles Barkley’s comments. Watch this space for updates.
[Featured Image by John Locher/AP Images]