NBA

Skip Bayless Just Shockingly Praised LeBron James Despite the Lakers’ Struggles in the NBA Bubble

Skip Bayless has been a massive LeBron James critic for practically all of James’ career. Whenever James does something great, you can almost always count on Bayless to have some sort of criticism about him. However, has Bayless turned over a new leaf? James and the Los Angeles Lakers haven’t looked amazing so far in the NBA bubble, but Bayless recently complimented James on Twitter.

Skip Bayless has always been a critic of LeBron James

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Bayless has been a critic of James pretty much since his Cold Pizza days on ESPN. He has since continued to criticize him on his FS1 show, Skip and Shannon: Undisputed, after constantly pointing out any of James’ flaws on ESPN’s First Take.

He has also been very active on Twitter.

“LeBron James: All-time great. But no MJ. No Kobe. No real killer instinct. No clutch gene. No late-game free-throw maker,” Bayless tweeted in February.

He even tweeted about James after he and the Cleveland Cavaliers miraculously beat the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals.

“So please don’t tell me LeBron James, great as he is, will ever even sniff the legacy of Michael Jordan, who went 6-0 in Finals with 6 MVPs,” Bayless tweeted.

Comedian Kevin Hart once even asked him why he hates James in his show on the LOL Network.

“I do not. I think he’s actually a very nice guy. In fact, I think he’s too nice of a guy. I wish he had a little bit more basketball killer in him. I don’t think he has enough,” Bayless said, according to USA Today’s For The Win.

Bayless continued.

“It just turns my stomach when all these blind witnesses try to delude themselves and the basketball public into believing that LeBron James is better than Michael Jeffrey Jordan,” he said. “Who would win a one-on-one game between those two?”

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have struggled in the NBA bubble

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James and the Lakers were playing excellent prior to the NBA shutting its season down due to COVID-19. Because of that, they are in first place in the Western Conference, and they have the second-best record in the entire NBA.

James has played really well this season too. He is averaging 25.5 points per game, eight rebounds, and a league-leading 10.5 assists per game. However, James and the Lakers have struggled in the NBA bubble so far.

In the team’s first game — in which they beat a short-handed Los Angeles Clippers team — James only scored 16 points on 6-of-19 shooting. In the Lakers’ second game, they lost to the Toronto Raptors 107-92. The Lakers shot a horrendous 35.4% from the field, and James scored 20 points while Anthony Davis was held to only 14 points.

While the Lakers are still in great shape, they certainly have some work to do if they want to win a championship.

Skip Bayless actually praised James despite the Lakers’ struggles

Skip Bayless has always been one of LeBron James' biggest critics. He, however, just praised James despite the Los Angeles Lakers' struggles.
Skip Bayless in 2013. | Christopher Capozziello/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

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Despite the Lakers’ struggles offensively, they have played pretty well defensively. The Clippers are shooting 46.3% from the field as a team this year, but only shot 43.2% against the Lakers. They also turned it over 20 times despite only turning it over 14.8 times per game this season. The Raptors, on the other hand, are shooting 45.8% this season, but only shot 41.7% against the Lakers.

Bayless actually complimented James’ defensive play.

“Must admit, LeBron has been playing some shockingly great high-energy, high-desire defense that is inspiring his teammates to become a very good defensive team. Props, King,” Bayless tweeted.

Yes, you read that right. Bayless actually praised James.

Skip Bayless has always been one of LeBron James’ biggest critics. He, however, can’t hate on him all of the time.

Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference