As a co-host on the Undisputed sports talk show on FS1, Skip Bayless is known to be highly loud and opinionated. But in a recent magazine essay, he took the time to apologize to former NBA great Allen Iverson for his past comments about him.
Bayless addressed his former views on the superstar point guard in an essay for GQ Magazine, simply stating in the opening: “I misunderstood, misjudged, missed the point on Allen Iverson.” The essay, which was published Monday (January 24th), explores why the journalist had such disdain for the athlete who became a star for the Philadelphia 76ers after being chosen by the team as the number one draft pick in the 1996 NBA Draft. In one section, Bayless goes back to his time as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune and being “offended” at the belief that the watershed moment where Iverson crossed over Michael Jordan in 1997 as a rookie “exposed” him.
The journalist also doesn’t shy away from noting that his disdain for Iverson was rooted in preconceived bias that he held, writing that “I kept stumbling backward into the kind of ignorance that has done so much damage to race relations in this country.” He based part of it on the fact that the guard proudly sported tattoos, which threw him off “because I grew up believing tattoos belonged only on sailors, bikers, and truckers.” Bayless also spoke about how he challenged Iverson about his declining play while he was at ESPN, to which the guard fired back. But the writer states that at the time he made the comments out of not wanting to see Iverson’s career end badly. Bayless ends the essay reflecting on how he recognized how Iverson has come to be so widely beloved for being who he is and shares that the two have come to a position of mutual admiration for each other.