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Sports columnist and television personality Skip Bayless revealed on his podcast Thursday that his wife fears for his life, citing a years-long feud he has had with former NBA star and TNT commentator Charles Barkley.
Bayless devoted the full hour of his show to the topic of Barkley and himself, and his diatribe turned morose when describing his wife’s concern that the outspoken basketball legend wanted to “kill” the Fox Sports host based on Barkley’s comments over the years.
“My wife Ernestine has believed for 15 years, that Charles Barkley is nothing but a sick individual,” Bayless said. “To her, he is just pure evil, that he is depraved, that he is a scumbag. And she believes, or fears, that one day, Charles will somehow — maybe unwittingly, or maybe wittingly — inspire some other nut to end my life.”
“And this haunts her, this hurts her. Because she believes that in the end, Charles Barkley would have my blood on his hands.”
Bayless added, “He has hurt my wife deeply.”
Bayless said during the podcast that while he was at ESPN he had enlisted the aid of an executive at the network to try and appeal to Barkley’s boss at TNT and get him to lay off the unfriendly rhetoric.
“I said look, I don’t care about any of the other criticism,” Bayless recalled. “He can rip, he can slash, he can say whatever he wants. Just for Ernestine’s sake, could he please stop using the k-word? Please no more kill.”
The two have had a beef going back for years and both are verbal provocateurs, though Barkley is arguably the intrinsically funnier of the two. As such, it may be hard to determine exactly how sincere the “round mound of rebound” is when he expresses his contempt for Bayless and his desire to inflict bodily harm on the man.
“Everybody knows I hate Skip Bayless,” Barkley said in December on Pat McAfee’s SiriusXM Radio show. “Because I think he’s the king of, ‘I’m just gonna say sh*t so people will go crazy on me.’”
Barkley includes the “Skip and Shannon: Undisputed” co-host in his general disdain for TV and radio personalities who “don’t have any talent.”
“There are zero consequences,” Barkley complained about Bayless. “He’ll miss nine out of ten games and then he’ll brag about the one upset he got right out of those ten games…I hate guys who do that on television…they’re wrong all the time.”
According to The Washington Post, as far bask as 2005, Sir Charles said he’d like to “kill” Bayless, going so far as to say it was his dying wish to do the deed on live TV.
During one particular airing of “Inside the NBA” on TNT, the hosts proceeded with their tradition of roasting a basketball team that has floundered in the playoffs and gotten eliminated, saying the team and their fans have “Gone Fishin'” now that their season is over.
When it was the Lakers’ turn to be roasted by the Hall-of-Fame cast, images of the many celebrities who regularly sit courtside at the Staples Center were superimposed jumping off the stern of a large fishing boat.
After former NBA star Kenny Smith asked about “the guy in the wheelchair” who was depicted sitting in the stern of the vessel, Barkley quickly said, “that would be Skip Bayless if I ever got him in a room by himself.”
Then Barkley doubled down on his claim. “If I ever get Skip Bayless alone, that’s what he’s gonna need. A full body cast.”
Departing from his apparent ill-wishes for Bayless, Barkley has also been refreshingly vocal in his opposition to the sinister phenomenon of cancel culture.
“The PC people are out overboard right now,” Barkley said on the TNT show in June of 2021. “I can’t imagine you guys doing a show every day, how crazy it is for you. Like, it’s gotten so out of hand right now, I couldn’t imagine having to watch myself — you can’t even have fun nowadays without these jackasses trying to get you canceled and things like that.”
“All we ever talk about behind the scenes now is ‘yo man, be careful going in this direction,’ — we can’t even have fun anymore,” Barkley said, referring to his co-hosts on the show. “We’ve had fun all these years, and now all of a sudden in the last year and a half, everybody’s trying to get everybody fired and it really sucks.”
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