Bosh vs. Bayless

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.

Comments (13)

  1. Hey man? What is wrong with you? do you need reassurance? I’ve been in TO just once and it is a fine city, you can be in a big city in the States and all you can find is 100 miles, no, 100 Kilometers of cows in all direction, but what do I know… I am European after all.

  2. First of all, Bayless is an irrelevant POS. Irrelevant people often have opinions worth listening to, but the combination of ignorance and irrelevance is not a good one. Good for Bosh for taking the high road, but he should have told Bayless that he is an ignorant loudmouth, recognizable to maybe 0.1% of the US population, who is very lucky to be paid to take cheapshots at people with real talent. Honestly, in Bosh’s shoes I would have tried to make Bayless cry on air by dispensing nothing but some cold harsh reality. Delusional ego-maniacs don’t deal with that well.

    Second of all, as Joseph points out, the Raps were very much on the radar when they had arguably the most exciting player in the game and a decent team. Look at Oklahoma City. If they had the Raps roster, would anyone care? Jeebus, the Knicks were practically irrelevant for years until last season. The fact is, the Raps are irrelevant now because they suck, and have sucked for quite a few seasons when their most compelling player was Bosh, who is the 3rd most compelling player on his current team. Toronto isn’t the problem. Talent and winning are another issue. The insecure buttercups need to suck it up.

  3. It was a good interview.

  4. Nothing new there. Americans are truly uninterested in non-american things.

    If anything, this is further vindication for Bosh. He was right when he said that being in Toronto wasn’t doing much for his career. I

  5. Who the heck is skip bayless and who cares if he has no idea about TO. Great city, lots of press compared to many USA cities, not as much as some others but so what??

  6. “someone needs to remind Skip Bayless who arguably the biggest star in the NBA was from 1999-2001″

    can someone remind me what that “biggest star” in the NBA ended up doing? Oh thats right…

    Vince was the biggest highlight reel in the NBA… that hardly suddenly made Toronto relevant. It made Vince relevant. If Vince put “Toronto on the map” as people like to say, why did the Raps become so irrelevant after he left? I keep hearing people say, “oh so and so should know that Americans cared about Toronto when Vince was here…”, “Toronto is the 4th largest media market in NA”. Did it ever cross someone’s mind that when you have to repeat the same thing over and over that maybe the other person doesn’t, and never did, actually care? If they cared, they wouldn’t have forgot those things.

    You know at one point in time American cared about France. At one point in time the cared about Britain. At one point in time they cared about Somalia. Tibet? Cuba? Venezuela? … and just as quickly they didn’t anymore.

    Why do Canadian feel this need to prove they have America’s attention? Go to America and ask about Canada (or Mexico, or Britain, or China or any country)… that should pretty much sum up what America knows and cares about the rest of the world. Nothing.

    Canadians, get over it. American’s don’t actually care about things that are not American for more than 5 minutes. Why do we care if they do or not? How much did Canadians care about the Atlanta Thrashers? Phoenix Coyotes? yeah thought so.

  7. ESPN is an American network that doesn’t get any revenue from selling ads in Canada. Sure, some of their shows are re-broadcast on Canadian channels, but their bread-and-butter is the US market. As the only non-American franchise in the NBA, we’re a natural target for ESPN – it isn’t like angry Canadians can hurt their bottom line. Bayless is a buffoon, and always has been, and ESPN will never stop taking cheap shots at the Raptors. The logic is self-reflexive: since ESPN, the “worldwide leader in sports” doesn’t broadcast in Canada, nothing that happens here is worth covering – after all, if it were, they’d be all over it. This logic is clearly flawed, but unsurprising. Classic “ugly American”ism at its worst.

  8. 1. Torontonians are wierdly insecure about how they are perceived by everyone outside of Canada, but completely unconcerned by how they are perceived by other Canadians.

    2. Skip Bayless epitomizes everything that is wrong with American sports broadcasting. He had a similar exchange with his colleague, Chris Broussard, re: Lebron James. Bayless deserves nothing from you, not even the 4 calories you will burn by mocking him. He is dead to me.

  9. Honestly, speaking by now responding I felt that Bosh made Bayless feel worse about himself–it’s as if Bosh was saying, you’re not important enough to warrant me losing my cool… Well Played (formerly) CB4!

  10. “by not responding” — typo

  11. We are irrelevant because we suck at basketball, not because of our location.

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