For everyone hoping the recent conflict between Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith would spark a reunion, they got their wish, only it happened privately. And for everyone who’s been sick to their stomach over the feud, worry no more, it seems like everything’s going to be alright.
Last week, Smith went on JJ Redick’s podcast and essentially claimed Bayless begged him to join First Take in 2012 because the show’s potential had already maxed out. Bayless, however, remembered it differently, calling his former partner’s recount “recklessly inaccurate,” proudly claiming First Take was “already as big a billion-to-one success story as ESPN had ever seen” prior to Smith joining the show.
Smith and Bayless are no stranger to taking opposing views on a topic, but without a sports show to settle it, how would their latest feud end? According to Bayless, it’s already over thanks to a heart-to-heart by his pool.
“We did manage to get together this past Sunday,” Bayless said on his latest podcast episode. “He was in LA, he came over, we sat by the pool. It wasn’t the easiest conversation for a while, but we slowly but surely sorted it out. We got through it, and we have been through so much together.”
“We’re still standing,” Bayless continued. “We’re OK now. In fact, I’m gonna go so far, if I can be a little presumptuous, to say we’re good now. You know why? Because I love this man no matter what! That’s my conclusion. Unconditionally. And I believe he loves me. And I am proud of that.”
I’m glad this has been settled, I don’t like to wish conflict on anyone. But this took a way more emotional turn than it needed to. Have they been through THAT much together in their multi-million dollar jobs talking about sports?
Based on their ability to oppose each other on every sports topic, it shouldn’t be surprising to hear Bayless believes he was the backbone of First Take, while Smith portrays himself as the show’s savior. But I guess this is why they’re successful on debate shows and most of us more rational people wouldn’t be. They dramatize and make every argument out to be bigger than it is because without that sensationalism, there wouldn’t be enough fuel to debate every single topic on live TV.