Master troll Skip Bayless wasn't always the poster child for everything that's wrong about ESPN, in fact, he's had quite the career in journalism. He has a long history of radio, television and writing credentials, and his last of past employers includes The Miami Herald, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and the Dallas Times Herald.
Skip plays the zany, talking head, controversy stirrer role to perfection of ESPN's First Take, but just because he knows how to get under America's skin, doesn't mean he knows how to evaluate NBA talent. Take his 2001 NBA Draft preview column he wrote for the Chicago Tribune, which popped up an NBA subreddit the other day.
In the story, Bayless lobbies for Bulls GM Jerry Krause to take the Desagana Diop, an unproven, 18 year old center from Senegal, with the fourth pick in the draft. Skip goes on to say that Diop is the only basketball player in the world with the potential to be "better than Shaq", and that "he'll eventually put Chicago back on the NBA map." Here's a few more of Bayless' thoughts on "Jop".
"Two or three years from now you'll look back and think: How could Jordan have not taken Diop No. 1? Diop is the one athletic freak in this draft. Diop is the only man alive age 18 or above with the potential to be better than Shaquille O'Neal."
"Playing for basketball factory Oak Hill Academy, the 7-foot, 310-pound Diop stole the show with his shot-swatting, jump-hooking, rebounding, free-throw shooting and court-running. Here was a physically mature man-child with the feet, touch and timing of a young Hakeem Olajuwon. All Diop needs is time."
"This should leave Diop for Krause. Diop will contribute immediately as a defensive presence. He'll eventually put Chicago back on the NBA map. I've called for Krause's job. Now I'm calling for "Jop," who could remedy Krause's heartburn and ours."Miraculously, Diop has managed to stay in the league for 12 seasons despite not once averaging more than 3 point per game. But as the video below will attest to, I don't think Shaq has anything to worry about.
But that's not all! Skip also goes on to say that Jordan (then the Wizards GM) would regret taking Duke product Shane Battier, saying that he was about as good then as he'll ever be.
"But Jordan will pay later for taking the 6-foot-8-inch Battier, who like fellow Duke product Elton Brand has an NBA ceiling. Battier isn't much of a leaper. Right now Battier is about as good as he'll get, which is merely very good."Try telling that to the Miami Heat, who are riding Battier's career best 3P% and lock down D on another title run- TWELVE YEARS LATER!
And then lastly, there's this:
"Picking second, the intriguing Clippers face an intriguing choice between Curry and 7-1 L.A. prep star Tyson Chandler."Sounds... intriguing?
"The slender Chandler is a much more skilled offensive player whose natural position is small forward--the last thing the Clippers need."On second thought, maybe we should all just shut up and be thankful that he's moved on from hoops to Tebow.