Skip Bayless made the mistake of thinking out loud on national television, and the result was pure struggle. According to the ESPN analyst’s logic, Kobe Bryant’s rape case helped the NBA star sell more sneakers. Oh.
Bayless suggested that the rape accusation against Kobe Bryant by a 19-year-old hotel worker in Colorado in 2003 helped him become a more attractive figure for marketers.
(The criminal case was dropped in 2004 and a civil case was settled out of court.)
“Remember Kobe pre-Eagle, Colorado?” Bayless said. “He failed in his first sneaker deal because he was just too clean-cut and I think it was adidas that had him first, correct me if I’m wrong, but he couldn’t sell sneakers because he didn’t have enough edge.
“But then post-Eagle, Colorado, it brought a little attention to him. It gave him a little bit of sizzle.”
Bayless paused before saying the word “sizzle,” seeming to sense it might be controversial.
Host Cari Champion seemed taken aback by Bayless’ comment, then said, “All right, we’ll leave it there,” then moved on to another subject.