What Skip Bayless Said About LeBron James After Lakers Won NBA Title

LeBron James made history on Sunday night, becoming the first player in NBA history to win the NBA Finals MVP with three different franchises.

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in six games to clinch a first NBA title in 10 years, while James secured his fourth personal NBA championship and a fourth NBA Finals MVP crown.

With six NBA Finals MVP awards, Michael Jordan is the only player in NBA history to receive the accolade more times than James. LeBron's fourth title reignited the ongoing debate over whether he could overtake Jordan as the greatest basketball player of all time.

FOX Sports host Skip Bayless, however, believes James versus Jordan isn't a debate at all.

Shortly after the Lakers clinched the title on Sunday night, Bayless tweeted: "MJ > LeBron", suggesting Jordan was a far greater player than James. Judging by the amount of > symbols used, Bayless doesn't think the debate is particularly close either.


— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) October 12, 2020

For his part, James felt he and the Lakers deserved credit for returning to the top of the NBA world a decade on since their last title and at the end of an unprecedented season.

"It means a lot. It means a lot to represent this franchise," he told ESPN after Game 6.

"I told Jeanie [Buss, Lakers owner] when I came here that I was going to put this franchise back in a position where it belongs. [...] For me to be part of such a historical franchise is an unbelievable feeling, not only for myself, but for my team-mates, for the organization, for the coaches, for the trainers, everybody that's here.

"We just want our respect. Rob [Pelinka, Lakers general manager] wants his respect, coach [Frank] Vogel wanted his respect, our organization want their respect, Laker Nation want their respect and I want my damn respect too."

James finished with 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists as the Lakers defeated the Heat 106-93 in Game 6 and ended the NBA Finals averaging 29.8 points, 11.8 rebounds and 8.5 assists.

The triple-double he recorded in Game 6 was his 11th triple-double in the Finals—an NBA record—and surpassing Derek Fisher as the all-time leader in playoff appearances with 260 games.

James' fourth NBA Finals MVP crown came four years after he received the award for leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first NBA title. James was named Finals MVP in 2012 and 2013 as he won his first two NBA titles with the Heat.

Jordan, meanwhile, won the award in each of the six seasons he led the Chicago Bulls to the NBA title throughout the 1990s.

James is only the fourth player over the age of 35 to be named NBA Finals MVP after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Jordan, and is the second-oldest to receive the award after Abdul-Jabbar, who was 38 years old when the Lakers won the 1985 NBA Finals.

His fourth NBA title, meanwhile, makes James the most successful any current NBA player and puts him one title away from a group of 13 players who have won five rings, which includes Magic Johnson, Tim Duncan and the late Kobe Bryant.

James arrived in Los Angeles in the summer of 2018 after nine consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals, but his first season with the Lakers was hamstrung by an inexperienced supporting cast, rumors of discontent behind the scenes and a serious injury that limited to a career-low 56 regular-season games.

The Lakers missed the playoffs for a franchise-worst sixth straight season and James was desperate to make amends this time out.

"Personally, thinking I have something to prove fuels me," James told ESPN. "And it fueled me over this last year and a half since my injury.

"It fueled me because no matter what I've done in my career up until this point, there's still rumblings of doubt, or comparing me to the history of the game, and, 'Has he done this? Has he done that?'

"So, having that in my head, having that in my mind, saying to myself, 'Why not still have something to prove?' I think it fuels me."

LeBron James, NBA, Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers with his MVP trophy and Finals trophy after winning the 2020 NBA Championship over the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on October 11 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty