TV host known for click bait and stirring the pot went too far this time

Bayless says Ginobili was Better than Dream

Photo by Tim DeFrisco/ALLSPORT/Getty Images

By now most fans of sports talk shows on radio and TV can figure out that Skip Bayless is all about stirring the pot for the sake of clicks, retweets, and shares. I have found myself caught in the middle of one of his ludicrous takes and responding to him on social media as if he would actually have data and back up to validate his ridiculous opinion.

It's all fun and games until he involves your favorite team or the best players in your franchise's history and then it becomes personal. Yesterday he went a bit too far for most Rockets fans and fans of NBA basketball in general when he said Manu Ginobili was a better player than Hakeem Olajuwon. There is fodder and playful banter, and then there is blasphemy and blatant disrespect. This comparison blows right by the first option and firms plants itself smack dab in the middle of the latter. You can't compare apples to oranges and you can't compare the Dream to Ginobili.

About the only way you can make a case for the Spurs legend over Olajuwon is to count rings and NBA championships. Hakeem has the two titles that he won in the back-to-back seasons of 1993-94 and 1994-95 with the Rockets, while Ginobili has four rings all with San Antonio. Aside from this catagory, the rest of the comparrison is so heavily weighted in Olajuwon's favor it's not even funny and for Rockets fans it's downright insulting.

I mean Ginobli was a fantastic international player winnig a gold medal for his home country of Argentina as well as a Euroleague championship. When you add his four NBA titles he is one of only two players in the history of the game to have won those three prestigious championships in a career. He played 16 years in the NBA and made the playoffs in 15 of those 16 seasons. He was the NBA 6th man of the Year in 2008, All-Rookie 1st team in 2002-03 and a 2 time All-Star. He averaged 13 points per game, 3.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists over his NBA career and Basketball Reference gives him a 20% chance to be ellected to the Hall of Fame for his total body of work. Whether or not he makes the Hall is not the issue, the fact that Bayless decided to make the outlandish comparrison to Hakeem and the nerve to say he was better is what is so offensive to so many. It's a compliment to Manu but a slap in the face to Olajuwon.

Hakeem Olajuwon averaged 21.8 points per game in his storied career along with 11 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 3 blocks and 1.7 steals over an 18 year career. He was a 12 time all-star that played in the postseason 15 times, was a two time defensive player of the year, two time Finals MVP, one time NBA Most valuable player, six time all-NBA first team, five time all defensive first team and all- rookie first team in 1984-85.

There is hardly a conversation about the best and most athletic and comlete centers ever to play the game that doesn't include Olajuwon. He is the all-time leader in blocked shots in NBA history and the only player ever to win the MVP, Defensive player of the year and Finals MVP in the same season. When he retired he was in the top 10 all-time in scoring, rebounding, steals and blocks. He is the greatest player in the history of the Houston Rockets and his No. 34 has been retired by the team.

To top it all off he appeared in back-to-back Final 4's with the University of Houston and was named to the NBA's top 50 players of all-time. If you want to compare "the Dream" to other players in NBA history, you start with names like Jabbar, Chamberlin and Russell, not Ginobli. The numbers don't lie and neither do the awards and accolades. This is one debte Bayless needs to skip just to save face and attempt to salvage a shred of credibility. Dream on Skip, dream on!

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The clock is ticking. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

If he is indeed to become an ex-Astro George Springer can officially sign with his new team starting at four PM Houston time this Sunday. Michael Brantley the same. All free agents can sign contracts starting Sunday afternoon. If the die isn't cast that Springer is leaving, it certainly feels like his renewing vows with the Astros would be an upset.

The Astros will make Springer a 18.9 million dollar qualifying offer for 2021. He will of course reject that because contract offers of at least five years and over 100 million dollars likely await. Should Springer move on the Astros would then get a compensatory draft pick. Brantley won't get anything in close range of Springer's haul-to-be but still should at least get multiyear offers. The Astros should make the qualifying offer to Brantley (if they don't they forfeit any compensation for his departure). If they don't out of fear that he'd accept the one-year deal, the Astros would look lame. I don't think it comes to that. Losing Springer would be a huge blow on multiple levels, but if somehow they were to keep Brantley while getting back Yordan Alvarez at even 80 percent of his rookie performance level the Astros' lineup would look to be in decent shape.

With MLB's economic outlook shaky for 2021, it's unreasonable to say Jim Crane and his partners should give Springer whatever he wants. A six or seven year megadollar contract for a 31-year-old player with some durability questions on his resume is an iffy proposition. At the same time, the Astros have been quite profitable in recent years (before 2020), and Crane said over the summer the Astros were positioned to be "aggressive, whatever the market looks like." 13 million Josh Reddick dollars are off the books for 2021, 10 mil of Roberto Osuna is gone. After next year more than 57 mil of Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke clear.

MLB's postseason awards will be doled out over the next couple weeks but for the first time in years the Astros don't have a credible candidate for any of the big ones (MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year). The Astros do have three American League Gold Glove finalists. I think Carlos Correa wins the shortstop honor. Correa had a weak regular season at the plate but his defense was stellar, plus the two guys who divvied up the last four AL SS Gold Gloves (Francisco Lindor and Andrelton Simmons) had down seasons and aren't finalists. Quick: name the teams of fellow finalists J.P. Crawford and Niko Goodrum. Hard to see either winning over Correa. Yuli Gurriel and Kyle Tucker were also named top three at their positions. For the first time the finalist selections were driven entirely by stats and analytics.

Big week for the Rockets

With the Rockets settling on Stephen Silas as their new Head Coach, that hire coupled with the in house promotion of Rafael Stone to General Manager makes it appear as though owner Tilman Fertitta is doing more things on the cheap. The NBA economic environment is challenging and huge portions of the rest of Fertitta's portfolio are submerged in a COVID-driven bloodbath. Silas has paid his dues for a good while and most recently worked under the outstanding Rick Carlisle in Dallas. He has earned a lead chair opportunity. But with no prior head coaching experience and no bidding war for his services, Silas signs on at a much lower rate than, say, Jeff Van Gundy would have commanded. Former head coaches (and former Rockets' player rivals of the 90s) Jeff Hornacek and Nate McMillan would make for two strong Silas assistants. From their playing days if you combined Hornacek's offense and McMillan's defense into one player you'd have one of the top 20 or so greatest guards in NBA history.

Silas and Stone take the reins at a challenging time for the Rockets with their messy salary cap sheet, reduced draft capital, and one of the oldest core player groups in the league. Polite public statements aside, it's part of why Daryl Morey left. Maybe Mike D'Antoni too though that seemed more about feeling disrespected by the lack of a contract extension before this past season. D'Antoni may have overplayed his hand since he did not get fill any of the coaching vacancies elsewhere in the NBA. Only Oklahoma City remains open, and D'Antoni has gotten no run there.

Buzzer Beaters:

1. It seems sadly appropriate that the first meaningful positive in the Texans' 2020 season came in form of a COVID test result.

2. If we all commit to getting through it together, I think we can get by without a Texans' game this weekend. Remember, it's their open week, not a bye!

3. One hit wonder goodbye songs: Bronze-Terry Jacks "Seasons in the Sun" Silver-Norman Greenbaum "Spirit In The Sky" Gold-Steam "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye"

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