Even though the information on Skip Bayless’ time playing high school basketball made headlines back in 2012, the story remains as intriguing and amusing today. A 2012 blog post from Oklahoma City revisited the archives and found images and data from Northwest Classen High School’s 1969 and 1970 yearbooks. These details shed light on Bayless’s JV league achievements during his junior and senior years.
Bayless has frequently spoken out about his high school years with pride. However, the records shared a different picture of his court performances. Wearing the iconic number 23 jersey, which was later associated with basketball legends Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
Bayless’s high school stats hardly supported the legacy of the number. In 15 games during the 1970 season, Bayless scored a total of 21 points, which means an average of just 1.4 points per game.
Skip Bayless was 23 before both Mike and Bron 💀 pic.twitter.com/Dzx2WMwc4y
— Ballsack Sports (@BallsackSports) September 16, 2023
But it’s worth noting that excellence in sports analysis doesn’t necessarily translate into athletic prowess. Bayless might not have showcased the brilliance of Pistol Pete, the initially popular owner of number 23 during his college years, but his skill as an analyst in sports journalism is evident.
Fans react over Skip Bayless’ high school hoops history
The 2012 disclosure about Bayless’s basketball history was met with a lot of reactions from NBA fans. Many took to X (formerly Twitter) to express their thoughts on the matter, drawing attention to the irony of Bayless’s past claims of being a basketball genius.
Fans couldn’t resist but to make fun of the situation, with tweets such as “he owns that number, fraud Jordan copied him” and “Skip Bayless: the guy whose name itself told the basketball coach what to do with him”. Some even jokingly elevated Bayless to legendary status, claiming “Skip now GOATED. LeFraud and Air Plumber demoted.”
he owns that number fraud jordan copied him
— fuеIs (@Sasukes) September 16, 2023
Skip now GOATED. LeFraud and and Air Plumber demoted.
— Robert C Buford (@SirRobertBuford) September 16, 2023
He time traveled to dickride MJ
— Clax On (@NeverHaram) September 16, 2023
Moreover, fans were quick to notice the ironic stance Bayless had previously held about LeBron James choosing the number 23, the same number that Michael Jordan popularized. Some Twitter users even joked about Bayless time traveling to influence Michael Jordan’s jersey number choice.
This blog has in fact added a curious chapter to the story of the legendary number 23. It’s a reminder that before it graced the jerseys of basketball’s greats, it was perhaps first worn by a high school player with dreams that seemed to have no boundaries.