Skip Bayless admits he’s envious of Basketball Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley’s media career despite their feud.
For decades, the two have exchanged verbal blows. Barkley occasionally crossed the line by threatening to physically harm Bayless over his hot takes. Recently, Barkley joined Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on their All The Smoke podcast where he torched Bayless for his relentless criticism of LeBron James. On the latest episode of The Skip Bayless Show, the Fox Sports host responded with an interesting take.
“Charles has been taking shots at me for, I don’t know, 20 years? On various platforms including his own on TNT’s Inside the NBA,” Bayless said. “But at least this time, for the first time ever, Charles didn’t go ‘k-word’ on me. This time, for the first time ever, he did not say that he would like to ‘kill me,’ as he so often has.”
On one of his first podcast episodes, Bayless detailed his long-running feud with Barkley. He implored the NBA analyst to stop issuing physical threats, claiming they scare his wife, Ernestine.
During a 2021 episode of Inside the NBA, Barkley 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. Barkley has not featured the “k-word” in all of his back-and-forths with Bayless, although the argument can certainly be made that even one physical threat is too much.
“To his credit, this time he did refrain,” Bayless said after Barkley didn’t threaten to kill him on the All The Smoke podcast. “I greatly appreciate that. That is progress. Thank God for small favors. Thank you, Charles Barkley. I’d also like to thank Charles for so faithfully watching Undisputed. Charles Barkley might just be our biggest fan!”
Barkley has repeatedly cited viral moments from Undisputed, allowing Bayless to lean into the narrative that he’s a big fan of the Fox Sports debate show.
“And I must admit, I do love Charles on TV,” Bayless noted. “I’m a big fan of Charles Barkley the commentator on Inside the NBA. But Charles, as you know, has come to the point, he can get away with saying just about anything that pops into his head and out of his mouth. That’s just Charles being Charles…I envy that.
“I’m the polar opposite of that,” Bayless continued. “I can say the smallest thing, the most innocent thing, I can tweet it or say it on Undisputed, something that is completely in bounds, completely OK, and all of a sudden one person on Twitter says, ‘can you believe Skip Bayless said that?’…All of a sudden, once again, I’m being CANCELED by that internet lynch mob…that’s my life and I’m happy to live my life, but I do envy Charles’ life.”
That sounds like a general lack of self-awareness from Bayless. Bayless has not been “canceled” throughout his career of constantly pushing limits. In fact, it might even be the idea of “cancel culture” that allows Bayless to continue saying outlandish things without offering genuine apologies.
Bayless has not earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to some of the controversial things he’s said. Because of that, the general public might be quick to pile on at every opportunity. Bayless doesn’t do himself any favors though by attempting to avoid taking any accountability.
After Bayless was attacked for his untimely tweet about Damar Hamlin earlier this year, instead of accepting responsibility, he doubled down. He made the ridiculous claim that no one had an issue with what he wrote. It’s not “cancel culture” attacking Bayless. But maybe it’s Bayless leaning into the idea of “cancel culture” that causes him to believe he shouldn’t be held accountable for anything he says.