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06-29-2012, 05:04 PM
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Location: San Francisco, CA
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Remembering this off of memory but...

Skip Bayless once said Lebron could improve if he "played like he did in HS" so Jalen Rose, or someone forget who, looked up his HS stats and called him on live TV and confronted him on his 2 minutes a game he played at the varsity level. Asked him how Lebron could improve by sitting on the bench. He stuttered just as much as he did in the Cuban vid.

Now, while I don't think a successful sports writer/personality has to necessarily have a playing background, when you say something like that you really open yourself up to be exposed to what you really are. I do believe that having played high level sports gives someone an extra dimension to draw from which obviously gives them an edge in the profession.

Most sports writers are like Skip, just less abrasive and annoying. They make up these superlatives and whatnot about athletes, not realizing what actually goes into preparing for games, seasons etc... Ratto is another one of those fluff guys, Kawakami (sometimes) another.

Skip's lack of respect for players really made me hate him. Glad Cuban did what he did in the matter he did. He didn't outwardly trash skip, he did it with far more class than skip ever has.

IMO the good sports writers have actual sources and players who talk to them. Why? Because they respect what the player does and understands or tries to understand things from the player's eyes. Maiocco and Barrows (less so) have legit sources from the 49ers, and Baggarly for the Giants and it's evident in their writing/reporting.

From an NHL standpoint, I think LeBrun and McKenzie (more so) are really fair in their reporting and have a good rapport with players. I don't get the feeling Pollak is that "inside" the Sharks as much as Maiocco is to the Niners. But that's just a gut feeling, can't say for certain though.

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