Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

Skip Bayless lied about his prestigious high school basketball career

A few weeks ago, ESPN talking head and Oklahoma City native Skip Bayless took to Twitter to complain about Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook. The comments were really nothing new or insightful, just the typical “Westbrook’s not a point guard!!!” rhetoric that people say or think or tweet (me included) each time Russ heaves a contested 20-foot jump shot or shoots a wild lay-up while Durant or Harden are wide open for a three.

Then, in what has to be interpreted as an effort to make himself appear more credible to his 500,000 Twitter followers, Skip sent the following “FYIs” about his high school playing days at Northwest Classen High School:

Yep, Skip Bayless was a high school basketball star. Therefore, he’s much more qualified to provide insightful commentary on the Thunder or give LeBron James funny nicknames than you are.

Or is he?

Over the weekend, we acquired through the Ogle Mole network some scans from the 1969 and 1970 Northwest Classen High School Yearbooks. Not coincidentally, that was Skip’s junior and senior year at the once suburban high school. The yearbooks contain team photos, season recaps and even individual player stats for the basketball team. Basically, they let you know if Skip’s claims of high school basketball glory were true and accurate, or if they were just wild lies pulled from the ass of the elder douche bag of annoying sports commentators.

We’ll begin with the 1969 yearbook. That was Skip’s junior year of high school, and the proud moment in his life when he became leader of…the JV team. Here’s a team photo of that JV squad. Skip is highlighted on the top row.

Here’s the season recap for the JV ballers. Skip is mentioned, along with three sophomores, as one of the leaders of the team:

Sometimes high school juniors do play for both the JV and Varsity squads, but that doesn’t appear to be the case for Skip. Although his name does appear in Varsity basketball photo for the 1969 season, his name doesn’t appear on the stat sheet. Therefore, it’s pretty safe for us to assume that Skip didn’t play high school varsity basketball until 1970, his senior season.

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1970 Season – Skip’s Senior Year

Knowing that Skip spent his junior year leading the JV team, it’s probably not too far-fetched to think he dramatically improved during the off-season and spent his senior year as the starting point guard for a team that would finish the year 20-2 and as the runner-up for the state title.

Actually, that is kind of far-fetched, but obviously an esteemed, professional and trustworthy journalist like Skip Bayless wouldn’t make-up a trivial lie about leading his high school basketball team. Let’s see if the yearbook backs him up.

Here’s a picture of Skip shooting layups in his warm-up jacket and nutters.

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Here’s the team pic. Skip is the highlighted player wearing number 23. This was before every basketball team’s best player wore the number 23. And just to clarify, we highlighted Skip to make him easier to find…not to make you believe he’s the God that Skip already thinks he’s become.

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Stats don’t lie, right? Well, for the sake of Skip Bayless’ credibility, let’s hope they do. Check out the individual stats for the 1970 Northwest Classen High School basketball team. Remember, this was the great team that Skip allegedly started for:

Yep, Skip Bayless scored a grand total of 21 points in 15 games as the “starting” point guard for the 1970 state runner-up. That averages out to 1.4 points per game. Considering his coach didn’t like him because he “shot too much,” you have to wonder how low his field goal shooting percentage was. And thank God we don’t have Skip’s stats for assists, rebounds or turnovers. It would be sad to see John Hollinger’s brain explode while trying to figure out Skip’s PER.

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Anyway, it’s pretty damn obvious that Skip Bayless over-exaggerated blatantly lied about his high school basketball athletic prowess just so he could appear more credible to his 500,000 Twitter followers. That’s pretty sad. It makes you wonder what other things he’s lied about during his 30+ year career as a well-known celebrity sports journalist and commentator. Maybe he’s the sports writing version of Scott Templeton and cited fake sources or just made things up in order to gain a following, like you know, claiming an A-list quarterback is gay. It wouldn’t surprise me, because if you’re going to lie about something that’s as dumb and stupid as your high school basketball career, you’ll probably lie about anything.

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4/10/2012 Update: Well, it appears this story has gone viral. It’s landed on DeadSpin, The Big Lead, Sports by Brooks and a host of other that sites that are much bigger and better than us. It’s even made its way to Bristol and the ESPN studios. Watch Jalen Rose ask Skip about his high school basketball point production:

For what it’s worth, Skip never did address the issue.

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Comments

  1. Just heard this story on WEEI in Boston on the Dennis in Callahan Show. They attempted to credit the site but called it the Last Ogle. Well done sir, Well done…

  2. He at least didn’t try and lie his way out of it when he got caught. You can tell he’s glad he is doing what he does now then what he done then. Noogies, wedgies and snipe hunts. Must of been brutal.

  3. Evan, the fact that Bayless apparently got a DNP-CD in seven of the team’s 22 games strongly suggests he wasn’t just a “pass-first point guard.”

  4. have you guys ever thought about doing a poll about who’s the most full of crap? You can have Skip “The truth teller” Bayless, Real Jim Traber and one or to more canidates to be decided upon?

  5. My uncle coached against Northwest Classen, the school Bayless played for. I attended games that my uncle’s school, Midwest City, played and Bayless was a scrub as a senior, and didn’t see the floor unless the game was not in doubt. Mr. Bayless is a blow hard and that is that.

  6. While S. Bayliss is and always will be a jackass and a buffoon, this is BS. He played varsity AND JV his sophmore and junior year and maybe even his freshman year. He did play and start (some games) his senior year. He lettered during his soph year. He was also part of a state championship team his soph year.
    I know this to be fact. I’m a year younger than him and saw it all. I’m not defending him but you all need to do a little more research and get your facts straight.

      • a guy verifying who can’t spell bayless and says he ‘maybe’ played his freshman year and then advised others to check their facts lol.

    • Thom, Skip’s less than stellar HS Basketball career is nothing to be ashamed about. Nothing to brag about either though and I suspect that is why he lied. I’m not sure your motivations for lying or if you just honestly don’t remember the details correctly.

      Do you have the 1968 yearbook, if not is is available on classmates.com. I’ve also provided the clips below.

      He isn’t listed by name in Varsity Team photo but I see a few faces that look like his. Maybe this is a mistake by the yearbook staff.

      I do see they won state that year and had an impressive record. Only losing 3 games.

      Since they won some of those game by over 30 points you would think if Skip lettered in Varsity his Sophomore year he would be on the stat sheet. He isn’t….

      And just as a bonus from the 1967 yearbook. His freshmen team photo. Maybe he was tall for his age but I count 5 who were taller.

  7. It really wouldn’t matter if everything Bayless tweeted was true. What I find even more absurd is that he tries to lend credibility to his argument by sighting the fact he played High School basketball in the 70’s. Sort of like me commenting on the Indy 500 because I did the Broadway Extension commute in my Civic for a few years.

  8. Where did he lie? He didn’t say he started in 9th grade. He did start as a senior on a team that took second in the state finals, he did win mvp of a 9th grade camp over several future D1 players. He justified his mvp by saying he was tall for being a freshman. It all makes sense, IF YOU READ THEM AS SEPERATET TWEETS.

    • Skip probably DID dominate a camp full of future D-I players as a 9th grader. I just wonder how old the rest of the campers were.

    • Saying “I started for high school team that lost in state finals” would lead any rational person to believe he was the consistent starter, while he only played in 15 of the 22 games.

      I started for my high school team on Senior Night, but never thought to call myself a starter…until now.

  9. This is the type of hard-hitting investigative journalism that I have come to expect from The Lost Ogle. Does anyone else smell a Pulitzer? (Smelling a Pulitzer…. that is a rather distasteful image isn’t it?)

  10. FYI, I am hosting a statewide basketball tournament this summer. So far I have an 8th grader from Keifer and a freshman from Gotebo signed up.

  11. I love this site. Thank you Skip. If I did’nt think you were a jerk, I would never have found it. The only reason I watch him is so I feel Brilliant. LOL

  12. Now last time I checked you have to pass the ball in order for your team to make a shot. I mean for all any of you know skip could have averaged 1.4 ppg, 25 apg, and 25 rpg. Now im not saying he did. But My point is none of you know what else he did maybe he did lead his team with assists and rebounds and steals he nvr said he was scoring champ. For every shot that is made an assist or pass led to it. Just saying.

  13. This from Wikipedia: Bayless was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The first child of John and Levita Bayless, he was named John Edward Bayless II on his birth certificate, but his father immediately began calling him Skip or Skipper. The name stuck, and Skip Bayless was never called John by his parents. He eventually had his name legally changed to Skip. Why would you do that? What’s wrong with John?/

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