The path to a championship is never easy, but Skip Bayless has maintained that LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have had a “cakewalk” of a route to the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
James has led the Lakers to within one win of a title — his fourth — but Bayless thinks it will actually damage James’ legacy by beating a banged up, fifth-seeded Miami Heat squad.
“This cakewalk of a Finals victory actually hurts LeBron’s far-fetched GOAT case more than it helps it,” Bayless said on Wednesday’s edition of Undisputed on FS1. “This is an epic mismatch. This ring should be made of cubic zirconia. Because this one has a big ol’ asterisk beside it.
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Bayless then pivoted to his go-to — a comparison to Michael Jordan.
“Michael Jordan never had a path this easy to a ring, and obviously – even you have agreed with this — has never had a Finals opponent as weak as the Miami Heat, the fifth seed in the Leastern Conference,” Bayless ranted. “I’m sorry, this is disqualified. You saw it from the start, it should have been a sweep. You know it and I know it.”
Skip Bayless Calls LeBron James ‘The Frozen One’
James has averaged nearly a triple-double (26.9 points, 10.5 rebounds and 8.8 assists) in the postseason and has been the Lakers’ most consistent player in the NBA Finals.
That continued in a crucial Game 4, which James called one of the most important of his career, as he delivered 28 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists as the Lakers took a 3-1 series lead.
But that performance wasn’t enough to sway the opinion of Bayless, who credited Anthony Davis for saving “The Frozen One” from another upset.
“Right out of the box, I expected attack mode from LeBron. Did I see it? No, I did not. Did I see fire in his eyes? No, I did not,” Bayless said. “Did I see deer in headlights? Yeah, I did. Did I see play possessed? I thought he was possessed by demons maybe because I couldn’t recognize him. It started to look like the LeBron from the 2011 Finals in which the Chosen One became the Frozen One in Game 4, 5 and 6.”
Of course, Davis did play a big role in the win with both his offensive prowess and defensive ability late, shutting down Heat star Jimmy Butler down the stretch.
“The MVP is definitely up for grabs,” Bayless said. “LeBron is outscoring AD 28 points to 26 points, but how can you sweep under your carpet 14 turnovers in the last two games? Those are eyesore turnovers. It’s hard to overcome those in close games, but you’re up against a team that is epically overmatched.”
LeBron James, Anthony Davis Not Concerned Over Finals MVP
James has won the Finals MVP three times (2012, ‘13, ‘16), but with Davis in the picture, things are different.
James is currently the favorite to win it at -556, with Davis sitting at +400 as a healthy underdog, per PointsBet Sportsbook.
Davis delivered two massive performances to open up the Finals, but disappeared in Game 3 with foul trouble. That might be enough to give James the edge, although there will be no argument from either star when it’s eventually handed out.
“We know who we are. We know what we’re about. We want the best, seriously, every single day, both on and off the floor, for one another,” James said. “We’re just not jealous of one another. I think that you align that with respect, I think the sky’s the limit.”