“It’s the classic Washington scandal. We screwed up by telling the truth.” – C.J. Gregg, The West Wing “The U.S. Poet Laureate“
Bob Ryan returned to ESPN airwaves Sunday night, and The Big Lead had the reason behind his suspension. SI‘s Richard Deitsch alluded to it Sunday night, but it was Ryan’s comments about fellow ESPN colleague, Mark Jackson, that got the famed Boston sports columnist suspended.
Ryan disparaged Jackson on a Jan. 6 episode of the Dan Le Batard show, which Deadpan has the video of, and he didn’t appear again on the air until Sunday, when he appeared on Sports Reporters.
Here’s the inflammatory passage from Ryan during his back and forth with Le Batard:
Bob Ryan: I am on record, thank God, publicly saying two years ago, I looked at the NBA, I looked at the rosters and what was going on, and said, “The most talented team one through eight, at least, in the NBA is the Golden State Warriors. They’re doing okay, but I know that they can do better. I know if they had a real coach, not some phony, Bible-pounding phony that Mark Jackson is, when he isn’t even a legitimate Bible pounder, I know that they’ll be better off.”
I didn’t know that it would be Steve Kerr. I didn’t know that it would be Luke Walton. I didn’t know WHO it would be, but I knew that he was out there, and there were plenty of them out there that could make them a better team, yes.
Dan Le Batard: I mean, Bob, that was savage, what you just did. A legitimate Bible pounder?
Bob Ryan: Yeah, because he’s a phony. That’s all. Well, I’m sorry, but it’s the truth. And I can’t believe they took him back on that broadcast. Oh my God. He’s a con man, and he’s done very well at it. I’ll give him credit for being a great one.
Two days after that show aired, ESPN issued a statement: “Bob’s comments were inappropriate and personal. We have addressed it with him. He recognizes he was wrong.”