ESPN analyst Skip Bayless has made the outrageous claim that Kobe Bryant's sexual assault case in 2003 gave him the 'sizzle' he needed in order to become a marketing icon and sell sneakers.
Bryant getting his edge
Bayless took to ESPN's first take on Monday and explained how Kobe had a clean cut image before rape allegations were made against the Los Angeles Lakers star and his career marketing wise was transformed after the incident.
Bayless exclaimed: "Remember Kobe pre-Eagle, Colorado. He failed in his first sneaker deal because he was just too clean-cut, He couldn't sell sneakers because he didn't have enough edge. But then, post-Eagle, Colorado, it brought a little attention to him. It gave him a little bit of sizzle."
The term 'pre-Eagle, Colorado' is in reference to the town in which Bryant was accused of sexual assault on a 19-year-old girl at a hotel, the charges were eventually dropped against the shooting guard in September of 2004.
Joseph Randle deal
Bayless and his co-host Stephen A Smith had been discussing the topic of the unlikely endorsement deal for Dallas Cowboys running back Joesph Randle who had recently been arrested for shoplifting.
Randle actually managed to ink an endorsement deal with an underwear company after he was accused of stealing cologne and underwear despite his $495,000 salary for 2014.
During the conversation, Bryant's name was brought up and Bayless began to leap to the surprising conclusion that his sexual assault accusation all the way back in 2003 was the reason for Bryant' being so successful in the sneaker-selling department.
Whilst the analyst is explaining his bizarre point of view, the rest of the panel including Smith and Cari Champion remain silent as if awkward in their tendency to join in, the host then says: "We'll leave it there" which was probably just what was needed for the viewers.