Boxscores Never Lie, Tweet Absurd Exaggerations

Earlier today Oklahoma-based website TheLostOgle.com reported on a recent Tweet by Skip Bayless in which the ESPN personality cited his own high school basketball career while making a point about star NBA guard Russell Westbrook.

Skip Bayless is a liar: Lied about high school basketball career

In a Tweet dated March 31, 2012, Bayless reported to his hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter.com, “I started for high school team that lost in the state finals. Coach didn’t like me b/c I shot too much and he wanted me to be more of a PG (point guard).

In response to the ESPN on-air talent’s claim about his high school basketball career, TheLostOgle.com unearthed images the website reported came from the yearbook of the high school Bayless attended in 1969 and 1970 - the ESPN personality’s junior and senior years at Oklahoma City’s Northwest High School.

Those images established that Bayless had attended the school those years and that he indeed was a member of the Northwest High School basketball team that lost in the Oklahoma high school state basketball finals on March 14, 1970, to Norman High School 47-42.

After the TheLostOgle.com’s post about Bayless today, SbB obtained an image scan of the original account of the Northwest-Norman game printed in the DAILY OKLAHOMAN on March 15, 1970.

Skip Bayless is a liar: Lied about high school basketball career

Included in that account, written by Daily Oklahoman reporter Lynn Garnand, was a box score. ESPN on-air talent Bayless, who 10 days ago claimed to hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers that he “started” for Northwest that season was not mentioned in Garnand’s game story while the stat line of Bayless in the Daily Oklahoman’s box score can be seen as zeroes across the board.

That isn’t to say Bayless didn’t register a single statistic for Northwest that season.

He did, with the operative word being “single.”

Skip Bayless is a liar: Lied about high school basketball career

In its post earlier today TheLostOgle.com also noted statistics printed in the 1970 Northwest yearbook that showed that as a senior Bayless averaged 1.4 points-per-game for the school’s varsity basketball team that season.

As for the junior basketball season of Bayless at Northwest, the same Oklahoma-based website reported that the 1969 Northwest high yearbook indicated the ESPN personality was an on-court contributor to the school’s junior varsity squad but did not appear in the final statistical summary of the Northwest varsity team that season.

Skip Bayless is a liar: Lied about high school basketball career

Sure enough, in a March 14, 1969, Daily Oklahoman box score obtained by SbB today, Bayless contributed the same to Northwest’s 64-60 first round loss to (Tulsa) Hale high school in that year’s Oklahoma state basketball tournament as he did for Northwest in the postseason his senior season.

Zero.

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Speed Read: Clippers’ Balls Have Dropped Again

The Los Angeles Clippers won the most favored martyr award last night in the NBA Draft Lottery and, with it, the top pick in the 2009 NBA Draft next month (likely to be Blake Griffin). The Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder now follow, leaving the Grizzlies to pretend Mike Conley, Jr. is the answer to anything but “Name one theoretically famous Junior” and draft Hasheem Thabeet.

Michael Olowokandi

Oklahoma City, your Ricky Rubio awaits. (Ricky will love the fried bologna sammich at Toby Keith’s I Love This Restaurant a block away from the arena.) A staff containing Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Jeff Green, Rubio, and your dear departed grandmother should be capable of 50 wins in two years. If you find it less ghoulish, we’ll refer to your passed loved one as Nenad Krstic. Same mobility, anyway.

(By the way, please send your love to Sacramento tonight as they had the league’s worst record and washed out with the fourth pick.  And you thought living in Sacramento was punishment enough.)

Sacramento Kings Flip Off The Camera

Your intrepid correspondent pulled into a local sports bar in the Phoenix area just thirty minutes before the NBA Draft Lottery truly started (which was, of course, thirty minutes after it officially kicked off).  That will be the best way to take the pulse of the community regarding the first lottery draft pick for the Phoenix Suns likely to play for the team since Amare Stoudemire, your correspondent said to himself rather self-consciously.

It can be officially reported that the patient is dead; there was no pulse in the greater Phoenix community regarding the draft lottery.  The normally-popular bar was half-empty and the televisions kept being turned from the NBA lottery to practically any other sport.  In fact, the only person to keep half an eye on the proceedings was Dan Majerle’s brother.

Surely, much of the passivity came from having such a slim chance at a top-three pick, but the collected crowd seemed much more interested in the Western Conference Finals for the NBA and NHL.  They chose wisely as the Denver Nuggets couldn’t hold their late lead  against the Los Angeles Lakers and therefore provided another thrilling finish, a 105-103 Lakers victory to kick off the NBA edition of the Western Conference Finals.

George Karl of the Denver Nuggets

Also, game 2 of the NHL edition ended in the first overtime with a 3-2 Detroit Red Wings victory over the Chicago Blackhawks to extend the series lead to 2-0. The ‘Hawks could not stop giving up the puck in the most exposed fashion possible, leading to two breakaway goals, including the three-on-one clincher.  You’d think a battle between a dinosaur and a human would turn out differently.

Chicago Blackhawks Detroit Red Wings

(The bar didn’t care for that result; Arizonans are either transplanted Colorado residents or former Illinoisans.  No love lost for Detroit from either quarter.)

On the other hand, the true locals were left to stew yesterday over news that a federal bankruptcy judge couldn’t bring the NHL or the former and future owners of the Phoenix Coyotes together on a deal regarding the sale of the team and a possible move back to Canada. Instead, he sent both sides into mediation and told them to hash it out themselves.

Jobing.com Arena Phoenix Coyotes

Of course, the NHL couldn’t resist putting gun to skate during yesterday’s proceedings.  For starters, the lawyer for the city of Glendale, AZ, had to admit that he’s never been to a Coyotes game.  Then the judge said late in the day, “The NHL is like a dog chasing a car. The question is, ‘What do you do if you catch it?’”  Bury it in Arizona, perhaps?

The relocation hearing in late June won’t answer the question, either; multiple rounds of appeals will surely follow if all sides can’t talk it out.  It all adds up to at least a month of indecision, misdirection, and public proclamations.  It’s not unlike the buildup to the NBA Draft, really.

When Arizonans aren’t paying attention to hockey mirages or 14th picks or UFOs in 2009, they might be taking in this hail of bullet points:

Where should the Phoenix Coyotes end up?

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After Big Three Picked, NBA Draft Loves (UC)LA

To the surprise of pretty much no one, the 2008 NBA Draft began thusly:

David Stern Derrick Rose

1. Chicago Bulls - Derrick Rose, Memphis

2. Miami Heat - Michael Beasley, Kansas State

3. Minnesota Timberwolves - O.J. Mayo, USC

The only real suspense in the opening stages was who was going to go next after the big three. And the next two teams were Bruin-up some surprises. Read more…