In case you haven’t heard, Chris Bosh and fiery/clueless ESPN commentator Skip Bayless went eye-to-eye in a WWE-style face-off this morning for ESPN’s First Take.
There were a couple of points worth noting from a Raptors’ perspective.
The part I’m concerned with starts around the 3:45 mark of the video, after Bosh pours his heart out about how the whole “Bosh-Spice” thing insulted his family’s name, his daddy, his daddy’s daddy and his great-aunt-twice-removed and after Skip Bayless responds by finding a way to say “I don’t care about your feelings because you’re still a soft Spice Girl” in not so many words.
Skip then begins a mini-rant by stating, ‘I want you to know that when you were in Toronto, I rarely spoke about you on this show. In fact, I might not have ever spoken about you on this show because you were basically irrelevant to me.”
Bayless goes on to say that Bosh was “toiling away in obscurity in Toronto” despite being a perennial All Star and a “fine player.”
What’s troubling for Raptors’ fans is Bayless confirming what most Raps fans and Canadian basketball fans have always feared the most: irrelevance. Sure, over a 16-year run in the NBA, the Raptors have slowly gained some relevance and the odd beam of spotlight, but an inferiority-complex still exists among the rabid fan-base.
Bayless coming out on national television in the States and basically saying playing in Toronto makes you irrelevant, no matter how good you are, can’t be good from a PR perspective for the Raptors’ organization, despite the number of people who know that Bayless’ comments are often moronic.
My immediate response is that someone needs to remind Skip Bayless who arguably the biggest star in the NBA was from 1999-2001. In reality, it’s not worth it. Skip’s not worth it. He’s one of those guys that speaks for the sake of speaking, even tough he rarely has anything remotely intelligent to say.
But I digress.
Do I think this one minute of typical Bayless ignorance is going to hurt the franchise? Of course not. But I also think if young players like DeMar DeRozan and Ed Davis see and hear these kinds of things, it will give them something to think about. And that’s probably not a good thing.
On a Bosh-note, it’s tough to hate on him here. Sure, watching him get ripped by a lesser man while just sitting there and taking it is funny, especially for the throngs of Canadian Bosh-haters just waiting to erupt in the comments section. But as was the case for most of his time in Toronto, Bosh’s professionalism during this whole ridiculous exchange reveals that at the end of the day, he’s still a pretty stand-up guy with a good head on his shoulders…minus the summer of 2010.