The Los Angeles Lakers will be without Rajon Rondo for quite some time after the veteran guard fractured his thumb in practice over the weekend. FS1 hot take extraordinaire Skip Bayless believes too many people are using the injury to Rondo as another excuse for LeBron James.
.@RealSkipBayless responds to Shannon's concern about Rondo’s broken thumb:
“LeBron doesn't need any excuses! Rajon Rondo has been on 6 teams in 7 years for a reason — he's not that valuable!” pic.twitter.com/pRS5ebtSjg
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) July 13, 2020
Bayless is a noted hater of James and jumps at every opportunity to criticize the four-time MVP. He went in on James and Rondo during a segment on Monday’s Undisputed.
“He doesn’t need any excuses. he is the best point guard in basketball and he just got five months off to refresh, to reinvigorate for a big playoff run in a bubble in Orlando. He is all in for basketball and this will have no effect,” Bayless ranted. “Rondo can be addition by subtraction. If you stick him in the bubble where you have to be around him 24 hours a day, he rubs everybody wrong and drives everybody crazy.”
Rajon Rondo ‘Not That Valuable’ for Lakers
Rondo was going to be a key cog for the Lakers in Orlando. He has averaged 20.5 minutes per game this season — the lowest of his career. However, he’s found a way to be a contributor with 7.1 points, five assists and three rebounds per game. He’s also a big veteran presence with championship experience, something that is not easily replicated.
But Bayless makes the argument that Rondo simply isn’t that valuable for the Lakers.
“Rajon Rondo has been on six teams in seven years for a reason — he’s not that valuable,” Bayless said. “He will not defend all the time. Sometimes when he picks his spots he can defend, or at least disrupt and steal the ball. Occasionally he will get a hot hand from three, but it’s rarely that he gets hot because mostly he’s a liability of a shooter.”
Bayless previous noted that the condensed NBA season and Orlando restart provided the easiest path to a championship James has had in his career.
“This will be the easiest path to a championship LeBron has ever had in his career,” Bayless said. “I don’t wanna hear any excuses from across the table because he’s first in and the last out, he’s healthy, he’s happy, he’s got the best team and here we go.”
LeBron James Focused on Being the Greatest
Bayless has said previously that the break was a gift from the basketball gods to James, who is in his 17th NBA season. After a long break, Bayless feels like LeBron should be ready to play nearly the entire game, matching what Michael Jordan did during his prime.
“LeBron should be so fresh and so healthy, he can play 40-odd minutes a game from here on out because that’s what Jordan did in Chicago,” Bayless said. “The closeout Game 6 at Utah was one of the greatest games you’ll see a man play. He played 44 minutes and scored 45 points, including the hold the pose game-winner. That’s what the real GOAT did. The phony GOAT, he’s got a co-star in Anthony Davis who I think it really heathy.”
Before the season was put on hold, James put together a MVP-caliber season, averaging 25.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and a career-best 10.6 assists, taking over the primary ball handing duties in Los Angeles. James used the time off to recharge and said he never considered sitting out a restart. He’s ready to capture his fourth NBA title — one that will be like no other before it.
“It gave me an opportunity to be home and make up a lot of time that I’ve lost over the years because I’ve been playing in this league and striving to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest, to ever play this game,” James told reporters this week. “So sacrificing my family at times was the most challenging and hardest part of it all.”