In case you’ve missed it, all things don’t seem well in Houston for the Rockets. Based on a report from Yahoo Sports, Chris Paul wants out due to his dislike for James Harden and their relationship can’t be saved. General manager for the team Daryl Morey and Chris Paul himself have both refuted the rumor, but that hasn’t stopped the internet from finding anything they can about previous tension between the two basketball players.
This comes just a couple of weeks after reports that the Rockets’ front office was planning to “shake” things up after a second disappointing year in a row. With the Golden State Warriors expecting to miss Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant for a majority of the season if they decide to stay, it could present a golden opportunity for the Rockets to finally get over the hump. If they’re going to make it happen, it seems more likely that James Harden will be the one to lead the team and not Chris Paul. The Rockets will need a decent haul for Chris Paul if they’re going to compete with the Los Angeles Lakers after the Anthony Davis acquisition. Rumor has it that they’re hoping Jimmy Butler will come to town, but he has many suitors, including the aforementioned Lakers.
With a story so big, people are bound to parody the situation and that’s exactly what Barry McCockiner, a popular sports parody writer, took to Twitter to do.
SportsTalkBarry makes it clear in his Twitter bio that he is a parody account, meaning that his tweets do not reflect real reports. However, that didn’t stop Fox Sports analyst Skip Bayless for falling for the fake report. Bayless, on his show Undisputed, claimed that there was a report of “Chris Paul making fun of James’ man boobs to the point that he broke down in tears and had to leave a couple of practices.”
There has been no other reporter that has made this claim besides the previously mentioned parody account. It would seem that a story so absurd would cause Bayless to do a little more digging, but that obviously wasn’t the case.
Skip Bayless is no stranger to controversy. His frequently contrarian takes have been the subject of much scrutiny in the past. However, Bayless isn’t the only sports analyst that has fallen for satire before. Funny enough, his old co-host when he was on ESPN’s First Take Stephen A. Smith infamously fell for an Onion article about him. The article was titled “Stephen A. Smith Thinking Son is Finally Ready for the Sex Argument.” Once Smith saw the headline, he went on a Twitter tirade defending himself. The tweets are deleted, but fortunately, Bleacher Report has them compiled here. Smith was a good sport about it and eventually tweeted, “Haaaaa. The got me. I didn’t know it was on Satire! Got it. Peeps got jokes. It’s cool!”
It remains to be seen if Bayless will apologize for reporting on obvious parody. It wouldn’t be the first time Bayless has apologized about something.