Charles Barkley hates Skip Bayless, and has proved that by prolonging their feud for well over a decade. He recently explained why.
Barkley joined last week’s episode of Barstool’s Spittin’ Chiclets podcast. During the interview, he was asked whether he confronted media members who attacked him during his career. According to Barkley, he never went after a media member who had a fair criticism. But Barkley was quick to cite his running feud with Bayless.
“I very seldom went after reporters,” Barkley said. “I go after Skip Bayless because I don’t like him at all, and I just like f*cking with him because he’s so sensitive and sh*t.”
Barkley and Bayless have had a tumultuous relationship for decades, with Barkley usually being the instigator of their feud. Last year, the feud appeared to reach its climax when Bayless claimed he legitimately feared being killed over Barkley’s insults.
During a 2005 interview with The Washington Post, Barkley said he’d like to “kill” Bayless. In 2021 he threatened to put the Undisputed host in a “body cast.” According to Barkley, his disdain stems from Bayless’s lack of accountability and authenticity.
“I have never criticized a player personally,” Barkley continued on the Spittin’ Chiclets podcast. “I stick strictly to his job. You look really bad if you get on TV or radio or a podcast or whatever, and you say a guy played awful.”
“…And that’s what I don’t like about Skip Bayless. Two things I don’t like about him. Number one, he has a double standard for guys he likes and dislikes. If two guys do the same thing, you got to be fair even if you like a guy. But also, he brags about something he gets right. He’ll get two out of five right, he brags about the two instead of saying the three he got wrong. I hate guys like that.”
Barkley seems to take Bayless’s schtick too seriously. Just as Barkley is known more for his hijinks with Shaquille O’Neal than he is for being a nuts-and-bolts basketball analyst on Inside the NBA, Bayless is an entertainer, not a reporter. Bayless’s background might be in journalism, but as a TV entertainer, he’s no longer expected to proceed without bias. Every time Bayless slanders LeBron James, for example, his audience recognizes the schtick.
Bayless isn’t the only media member to have been targeted by Barkley, however. In 2019, Barkley threatened to hit a woman reporter from Axios and later claimed he was just attempting to make a joke. And in 2014, Barkley threatened to beat up a radio host who attempted to confront him for joking about the “big ‘ol women” in San Antonio.