LeBron James believes heʻs won the two toughest championships in NBA history, but his long-time rival Skip Bayless thinks the Los Angeles Lakers star is way off in his assessment.
James shared his feeling on the Road Trippinʻ podcast with his former teammates Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye.
“I’ve been a part of two teams that’s won the two hardest championships in NBA league history,” James said on the podcast. “The 2016 Cavs coming back from 3-1 versus a 73-9 team, being down 3-1 versus one of the best teams ever been assembled.
“And then what we went through in the bubble. And if you were not in the bubble, you don’t quite understand it. You will never, ever understand how hard it was to win that championship, to be able to motivate yourself to be out of — this is literally out of your whole comfort zone. No family. I didn’t see my family for eight-and-a-half weeks.”
“I’ve been a part of two teams that won the two hardest championships in NBA league history”
The King believes nobody else has faced these challenges to the throne 👑
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 8, 2020
Skip Bayless: Lakers Had Easiest Route to Title
Bayless continues to be adamant that the Lakers had the easiest route to an NBA championship ever last season and that the 2016 Golden State team — which finished 73-9 — was overrated.
“That 2016 Golden State team was overrated. LeBron had them on the ropes the year before in 2015 and he didnʻt even have Kyrie and Kevin Love,” Bayless said on Wednesdayʻs edition of Undisputed on FS1. “I promise you, this was the easiest path to a ring ever. … It was the cleanest, clearest, nicest superhighway to a ring you could ever ask for.”
Did LeBron win 2 of the toughest rings ever?
“That 2016 Golden State team was overrated. LeBron had them on the ropes the year before in 2015 without Kyrie & Kevin Love! And I promise you, last year was the easiest path to a ring EVER.” — @RealSkipBayless pic.twitter.com/0BDhiDQ9YM
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) December 9, 2020
Of course, itʻs a debate show, so Baylessʻ co-host Shannon Sharpe had the opposite take, backing James.
“Coming back from being down 3-1 against a 73-9 team and unanimous MVP was [impressive],” Sharpe argued. “And then when you look at what they did this last season, I’d have to agree with him.”
LeBron James, Lakers Titles Favorites
Bayless is going to keep his hot takes on James coming this season, with the Lakers primed for a repeat. Not only are James and Anthony Davis locked in, but the Lakers have improved at almost every position thanks to some big offseason acquisitions.
James is no stranger to having a bullseye on his back but knows it will be even bigger this year.
“I guess the bull’s-eye just becomes even greater, if that’s even possible,” James said about a possible repeat. “For me personally, the bull’s-eye has always been on my back — or my front — since I entered the league. You add in the Laker name on top of that, the Lakers franchise, the bull’s-eye has been on this franchise for a long time as well.”
LeBron James’ message to his teammates on trying to defend their title:
“The bullseye becomes even greater… For me, the bullseye has been on my back since I came into the league.”
— Hoopsview (@hoopsview) December 7, 2020
The Lakers are +300 to win the title (per Vegas Insider), with the Bucks and Clippers next up at +550. The Brooklyn Nets are close behind at +600. A title this season would give James five in his career — one behind Michael Jordan.
One of Baylessʻ all-time arguments is that James doesnʻt approach Jordan as the greatest of all-time, but two more titles might make even the most committed James-haters reconsider.
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