By: Matthew Zimmer
I can almost guarantee that those who don’t read this, will just read the headline and comment something like “It’s Skip Bayless, what did you expect?” Well, you got me there. Bayless and the other argumentative sports personalities are expected to have controversial opinions from time to time, but it feels like FS1’s Bayless and ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky were more critical than need be on Thursday.
Let’s actually start with Orlovsky on “Get Up”. He starts by trying to compare Damian Lillard to front line workers and saying there’s “no such thing as meaningless anymore” and that there’s a difference between “get to and have to.”
Orlovsky says front line workers have to go to work, and he’s right about that, but he follows it with Lillard would “get to play basketball again.” He continues with “how can you sit there and go ‘nope I’m not gonna play’ but understand that there’s people out there that don’t have that choice.” Orlovsky also said he struggles sitting there and not thinking Lillard doesn’t “come off, in some way, as a spoiled or entitled brat” for not wanting to play without being able to compete for a championship. Using that double negative was confusing, but essentially Orlovsky is saying he things of Dame as a spoiled or entitled brat. Yikes.
Orlovsky’s colleague, Dominique Foxworth, disagreed and couldn’t understand Orlovsky’s comparison of Lillard to frontline workers. Foxworth called the analogy “absurd” and the reason certain people have to work is because “we have to eat” but “we don’t have to play basketball.”
Orlovsky responded to Foxworth saying if Lillard had said his issues with returning to play was risk exposing himself or his family to the coronavirus, then “I’m 100 percent behind that.” You can watch the full segment from Get Up below.
As for Skip… he didn’t go as far as calling Lillard a brat, but he did question Lillard’s status as a superstar in the NBA.
“What have you done? Show me the credentials whereby [Lillard] can say ‘I’m above that. That’s beneath me,’” Bayless said. “If Damian had spoken out and said ‘I just don’t think it’s safe enough, I don’t want to get sick,” you got me.”
He would go on to say that the games are not for nothing and Lillard could earn “a real sweet check.” Bayless didn’t stop there.
“It’s tough for baseball. It’s tough for the NFL. It’s time to do your part and don’t try to knock down the process and pull everybody back down in your ego-maniacal view of ‘I’m Dame Dollar’,” he said.
Shannon Sharpe doubled down on what Bayless said, and added, “Just because you’re a big player in the league, and you have a platform, that doesn’t mean you should stand up and voice everything. Some things Skip, you just keep to yourself.”
I know I’m going to come off as a Damian Lillard homer for this, but he does not “stand up and voice everything.” As a matter of fact, I think Lillard is one of the more reserved superstars in the NBA when it comes to speaking up and out of nowhere.
If you want to subjugate yourself to Skip and Shannon talking for 10 minutes, you can check out the full clip from “Undisputed” below.
Entitled and spoiled? Mf watch yo mouth. My background , family, and character couldn’t be further FROM entitled and spoiled. I said what I said! https://t.co/yM30aU5xl2
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) May 28, 2020