Skip Bayless Makes Wild Claim About Lakers Last Championship

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers might have won a championship in 2020, but things have been going downhill ever since.

In 2021, the Lakers were bounced out of the playoffs in the first round, while in 2022, they failed to make the post-season altogether. Of course, injuries have played their part, while their disjointed and aging roster has also been a significant factor.

However, Skip Bayless believes there’s another reason the Lakers managed to win a championship in 2020, and that’s because LeBron James had multiple months of rest while the league was on hiatus at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Do you realize the pandemic was the single greatest thing that’s ever happened to LeBron James? If not for the pandemic, he wouldn’t have a fourth ring. He would not have because how many months did they have off before the bubble started? It was like four months off to refurbish, to refuel, to revitalize,” Bayless said during a September 30 episode of Fox Sports’ Undisputed. 

If we’re being honest, LeBron probably did benefit from the additional rest when the league was on hiatus, but so did every other player who took part in the NBA bubble – especially the league’s older stars. So, to assume that the Lakers won a championship due to a prolonged break that every team had is somewhat disingenuous.

Lakers Still Willing to Make Big Trade

As the Lakers continue to navigate their way back to the post-season, there has been a lot of rhetoric surrounding the front office’s willingness to make a trade – with arguments made for both sides of the coin.

However, according to a September 30 report by Marc Stein, in his Steinline newsletter, the Lakers are committed to making a trade, if the move is significant enough to return them back to contender status.

“The Lakers’ undeniable preference throughout the latter stages of the offseason was to preserve their projected 2023 salary cap space for a significant signing next summer. Yet they have not ruled out a deal between now and the Feb. 9 trade deadline that involves taking on long-term salary and/or surrendering their much-discussed future first-round draft picks in 2027 and 2029 … but only if that trade is deemed to clearly return the fallen giants to contender status,” Stein wrote.

At the moment, there isn’t a star who could move the needle for the Lakers that is available on the trade market – but as is always the case, there may be a high-level talent who becomes disgruntled during the season, and that could be when Los Angeles chooses to make their move.

Lakers Have Bilateral Commitment With LeBron

When talking to the media on Monday, September 26, as part of the Lakers media day, Rob Pelinka was asked about his willingness to part with the team’s future draft picks if it means providing the Lakers with a roster capable of winning a championship in the near future.

“Let me abundantly clear: We have one of the great players in LeBron James to ever play the game, on our team. He committed to us with a long-term contract, a three-year contract. So of course we will do everything we can, picks included, to make deals that give us a chance to help LeBron get to the end.

He committed to our organization, that’s gotta be a bilateral commitment. But let me be also clear, that you have to understand the CBA and the Stepien rule…You have one shot to make a trade with multiple picks. So if you make that trade, it has to be the right one, you have one shot to do it, so we’re being very thoughtful around the decisions on when and how to use draft capital in a way that will improve our roster,” Pelinka said.

With LeBron still being one of the best players in the world, it makes perfect sense that the Lakers would want to accentuate his talents before he begins to decline – although, there’s no telling what a potential deal would look like, or who the new star heading to Los Angeles could be.

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