Skip Bayless built an incredibly successful and lucrative TV career by being a performative troll and Charles Barkley has a big problem with it.
Barkley joined the latest episode of All The Smoke with hosts Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, and during the wide-ranging interview, he was asked about his relationship with Bayless.
“I don’t like the guy,” Barkley admitted without hesitation. “Skip, to me, these guys are real people. And I don’t mind you criticizing guys, it can never be personal. One thing I hate about the media, you can tell guys they like and dislike. You can’t talk about people on television like that. You have to be fair and honest with people. You can tell who he likes, you can tell who he dislikes, cause he makes it personal. Like, you can’t say bad stuff about LeBron James…Skip’s disrespect toward [LeBron], I do not like it.
Bayless staked his corner as the foremost hater of LeBron James a long time ago. And as LeBron’s career become more impressive over the years, Bayless only dug his heels in deeper. It’s a tired act. And it appears to have worn thin on Barkley, just as it has with many basketball fans.
Barkley also took issue with Skip’s recent treatment of his Undisputed co-host Shannon Sharpe. In recent months, the on-air relationship between Bayless and Sharpe looks to have deteriorated. The debate partners have had some excessive arguments. Some with Sharpe accusing Bayless of disrespecting his NFL career because it doesn’t match up with Tom Brady’s unmatched accomplishments. Sharpe also skipped an episode of Undisputed last month. This was seemingly in protest of Bayless’s untimely tweet about Damar Hamlin’s life-threatening injury during Monday Night Football.
“The way he’s treating Shannon, clearly hate,” Barkley said. “Tom Brady is the GOAT, we get that. First of all, this dude (Sharpe) is in the Hall of Fame, he won three Super Bowls he ain’t chopped liver. He’s been rewarded so much. The way he has made his money and made his living, I have a problem with it.”
The two have had a tumultuous relationship for decades. It reached an apex last year when Bayless claimed he feared Barkley’s slights may eventually lead to his death. Barkley previously threatened to put the Fox Sports host in a “body cast,” and during a 2005 interview with The Washington Post, he said he’d like to “kill” Bayless. The feud may be fueled by Skip trolling professional athletes, but Barkley’s threats have been even more inordinate, albeit less frequent.