After Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe ruined Giannis Antetokounmpo’s playful appearance on The Daily Show this week, guest host Hasan Minhaj used their ignorance to put the entire media industry on blast.
Earlier this week, Antetokounmpo joined The Daily Show, where Minhaj persuaded the NBA superstar to roast some of his basketball peers. The jokes were prewritten and placed on a teleprompter for Antetokounmpo, who reluctantly read some of them, while declining to recite others that he deemed to be too harsh. But there was one line Antetokounmpo read about Kevin Durant that went viral.
“You (Kevin Durant) keep joining these super teams to win an NBA title,” Antetokounmpo said with pause. “How about we work out together sometime so I can teach you how to carry your own team?”
Even though the joke was just that, a joke, and one that really wasn’t offensive, Antetokounmpo quickly followed it up with impromptu praise of Durant as a sort of peace offering. Still, Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless weren’t pleased with Antetokounmpo’s appearance on The Daily Show, claiming it wasn’t cute.
“It’s supposed to be cute,” Bayless ranted on Undisputed. “It’s supposed to be tee hee funny, it’s supposed to be kee-kee-kee funny and it’s just not to me either, because it’s unfair to Kevin Durant and he is the thinnest-skinned superstar I’ve ever closely observed.”
Wednesday night, Minhaj fired back and roasted Bayless for completely misrepresenting the clip to act like Giannis was legitimately trash talking Durant.
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) March 2, 2023
“Skip Bayless just ripped out that little clip of Giannis going to camera and being like, ‘KD you need to get stronger so you can carry a team on your back.’ And then Skip’s dumb ass is like, ‘see, that is so mean to Kevin Durant because we all know he has thin skin,’” Minhaj said.
“Wait a second, Skip. Are you trying to big-up Kevin Durant by talking sh*t about Kevin Durant? ‘We should be nicer to Kevin Durant because he’s clearly a pansy who can’t handle it.’ What are you saying?”
Bayless and Sharpe saw the full clip and were well aware of the fact that Antetokounmpo playfully read mild slights about some of his basketball peers as part of a light-hearted comedy bit. But the Undisputed hosts still attempted to use the clip as a way of drumming up drama and controversy during what is a slow time in the sports calendar. If Giannis appeared on The Daily Show during the NFL season, Skip and Shannon probably wouldn’t even broach the topic.
“That’s the vexing thing I hate about being a part of the media,” Minhaj said. “It’s this f*cking clickbait, Instagram reels, TikTok media grift of like, ‘oh if I just snip out the right amount, oh baby I can ride the wave! When you’re on the way to work I can get you mad, I can feed that algorithm.’
“The sh*tty part is, Skip is perpetuating the very same reason why professional athletes don’t go on any of these shows,” Minhaj continued. “They’ve created a dynamic where you gotta go full Darth Maul in order to be a former athlete that does media. You gotta go full Draymond Green, Kendrick Perkins to the camera and be like, ‘I’ll f*cking kick you in the nuts.’ And the producers are like, ‘Yeah! More! Do more of that!’”
Just give The Daily Show gig to Minhaj, his retort to Bayless and overall assessment of the media was perfect. Giannis already seemed hesitant about taking part in the playful comedy bit, knowing trolls would be waiting to use it against him. Skip and Shannon were first in line to take the bait and did their best to deter other athletes from taking part in similar comedy skits in the future.