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Skip Bayless Criticizes Lakers’ and Lebron’s Response to In-Season Tournament Win

Bayless Lambasts Lakers’ Post-Tournament Slump vs Bulls

When the Los Angeles Lakers hit a rough patch after clinching the In-Season Tournament victory, popular TV host and avid sports critic Skip Bayless saw it as a golden opportunity. The Lakers, after a disappointing 124-108 defeat to the struggling Chicago Bulls on the road, were under his scrutiny.

Known for his arguably fierce comparison of LeBron James to NBA legend Michael Jordan, he used this opportunity to once again emphasize on the point following the Lakers’ lukewarm response to their In-Season Tournament win.

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The subject of whether the revered Lakers should have celebrated the mid-season victory with a banner was a hot topic. This acknowledgment of achievement now resides in the Lakers’ rafters after their decision. However, Bayless found this decision yet another ground to critique, specifically pointing at the Lakers’ less than satisfactory performance in Chicago, citing the lack of defensive energy in the match.

Bayless did not mince his words while dissecting the Lakers’ defense in the match against the Bulls. ‘What a spiritless and slack defensive display by LeBron’s Lakers in Chicago’, he lamented. Despite the Bulls not being a high-scoring team, the Lakers’ defensive lapses enabled them to comfortably score 18 threes, losing the match 124-108.

During the Dec. 15 episode of ‘The Skip Bayless Show’, Bayless said, ‘Michael Jeffrey Jordan would have said to the Chicago Bulls: ‘You will raise a banner for an In-Season Tournament over my dead body.’ The Lakers, however, have made a decision to raise one. It is not a decision I can get behind.’ Evidently, Bayless’s sentiment echoed a firm belief that the Lakers may have misplaced their priorities in celebrating the mid-season victory.

Despite his criticism of the Lakers, Bayless acknowledged the role James played in rallying his team to win the In-Season Tournament. He commented, ‘I was appreciative of LeBron for his efforts in uniting his team, leading them to secure victories against teams that didn’t take the early group play very seriously.’ This statement unintentionally reflects Bayless’ respect for LeBron’s Captaincy during the In-Season tournament.

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Following their mid-season victory, the Lakers struggled to maintain form. Their triumph against the Pacers for the title was followed by four defeats in the next five bouts, which brought their standings to 15-13. This inconsistency alarmed Bayless and further fueled his criticism.

The Lakers’ shocking losses against the two of the least performing teams, the Spurs and the Bulls, were a hard pill for Bayless to swallow. In his eyes, a defeat against Jordan’s former squad (Bulls) was particularly unacceptable, as it formed another cornerstone of Bayless’s critique of LeBron’s leadership.

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Bayless blames LeBron for the Lakers’ struggles, singling him out for his alleged ‘showboating and premature triumphalism.’ He identified a missed dunk in the game against the Bulls as a particularly low moment for LeBron in Wednesday’s match.

Despite the criticism and the team’s rocky patch, James emerged as the top-scoring athlete on the court, providing a silver lining to an otherwise dreary match. He scored a commendable 25 points for his team and also contributed with 10 rebounds and nine assists, developing some personal statistics despite the team’s overall loss.

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