Another week of national sports talk. ESPN’s The Last Dance and the NFL Draft which began last night were constant topics of conversation. Here are the takes and doings of a quintet of radio and television personalities.
Skip Bayless, Colin Cowherd, Shannon Sharpe, Mike Tirico, Dan Patrick
Skip Bayless (Fox Sports):
- Bayless discusses the first two episodes of The Last Dance on Sunday evening. He calls the late Chicago Bulls GM, Jerry Krause, and owner Jerry Reinsdorf, “scoundrels.” Bayless believes that these two men were responsible for breaking up the best defensive basketball team and arguably the greatest basketball team of all time. Jerry Krause “made a mess of the organization” and had an inflated ego of himself because of Michael Jordan’s heroics and the Bulls success.
- Skip was shocked by one of Reinsdorf’s quotes in a somewhat recent interview that Skip himself did with Reinsdorf. The Bulls longtime owner claimed that going into the 1997-98 season he and Jerry Krause decided all the players on the Bulls, except Michael Jordan, were nearing the end of their careers. Bayless thinks this was nonsense and that if the Bulls team stuck together they could have won at least another two NBA championships.
- He claims that “Draymond Green has not stopped crying since the day Kevin Durant left for the Brooklyn Nets.” Bayless insists that Green is “crying over spilled milk” and “fantasizing over having a Golden State Warriors’ version of The Last Dance.”
- Rob Gronkowski was “burned out from Belichick,” and Gronk’s love of football will be reignited in Tampa Bay with Tom Brady and head coach, Bruce Arians. Gronkowski needs to play in warm weather and have less pressure throughout the season. With Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, and O.J. Howard, not all the pressure to catch passes will be on TE Gronkowski.
Shannon Sharpe (Fox Sports):
- Sharpe insists that although Michael Jordan might have had more stature in his day than LeBron James has now, Jordan is “absolutely not better than LeBron.” He thinks Jordan agreed to do the documentary because he heard LeBron’s “footsteps” in the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time) stamp.
- He believes that former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has the most impressive college tape of all the most-skilled QBs in the NFL Draft. Teams should not pass up on him because he is injury prone. While he will have to learn how to get rid of the ball faster and adjust his playing style in the NFL, Tua should not fall in the draft. Postscript: Tua did not end up falling in the draft. He was picked 5th overall by the Miami Dolphins.
- In Sharpe’s eyes, Rob Gronkowski is coming back from retirement to have some fun on the football field with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay. While he had a great nine season career with New England, he is returning to the NFL to show that he is “still the preeminent TE in all of football.”
- The defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs are considering trading up in the draft so that they are able to acquire former Alabama star WR, Henry Ruggs. Sharpe feels as if the Chiefs already have enough firepower on offense with Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Sammy Watkins. Andy Reid would love another speedy WR to add to his offensive juggernaut. But the Chiefs might “be better served if they drafted a strong defensive player.” Postscript: The Chiefs wound up not trading up for Henry Ruggs. While Sharpe said that it would be smart for the Chiefs to take a defensive player, the Chiefs took former LSU RB, Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
- More: Last week Sharpe said that he was strongly against the Green Bay Packers drafting Utah State QB, Jordan Love. The Packers ultimately ended up trading up in the draft to take Love with the 26th overall pick. He will backup Rodgers and the plan is to eventually make him the starting QB in Green Bay.
Colin Cowherd (Fox Sports):
- He identified a characteristic that both Russell Westbrook and Michael Jordan share. They have “some crazy in them” and will do anything to win games while playing their hearts out.
- Jordan is “the greatest player ever,” but there’s also a good chance he wouldn’t have won anything without Scottie Pippen and Phil Jackson. Even Michael Jordan admits that he needed the guy or guys to succeed.
- In Cowherd’s opinion, Jordan is the most underpaid athlete in sports history. In 1988, Jordan signed an 8-year, $25 million contract that took him through 1996. During that span, Jordan won three regular season MVP’s, 4 Finals MVPs, and 4 world titles. He “carried the league.” Scottie Pippen is up there as well, as he signed a 7 year, $18 million contract in his tenure with the Bulls. (Arguments can be made for many others too, like greats Bill Russell, Sandy Koufax or Jim Brown.)
Mike Tirico (NBC Sports Network):
- Tirico brings on top NFL Draft prospect and former Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young onto the show. Young was picked 2nd last night by the Redskins. Young “can’t put the feeling [of being drafted] into words.” When he was growing up in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, Young “was a fan of individual players and didn’t have a particular team.”
- Current QB coach and former NFL QB, Jordan Palmer, joins the show. Palmer sets the bar high for Joe Burrow right out of the gate. He believes that Burrow is confident enough as a player to win with anybody. The question remains: Can Burrow be the guy to turn the Bengals franchise around?
Dan Patrick (Fox Sports Radio):
- He doesn’t understand how Jerry Reinsdorf always seemed to side with Jerry Krause amidst Krause’s controversial decisions and ego. All 12 or so players on the Chicago Bulls, including Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, never embraced Krause as GM.
- Patrick believes that Michael Jordan is still “ghosting LeBron James.” Jordan’s legacy will grow because of the documentary. LeBron should be in the playoffs competing for a fourth ring, but instead he needs to sit at home and watch Jordan’s greatness as well.
- Patrick doesn’t think that the addition of Rob Gronkowski, moves the Buccaneers from the 6th best odds to the 4th best odds to win Super Bow LV. He is “cautiously optimistic” that Gronk can fit into the Tampa Bay offense well. Patrick acknowledges though that Gronkowski will be a huge asset to Brady in the red zone.