Fox Sports analyst Skip Bayless revealed his top 10 NBA players of all time with LeBron James placed near the end of the list.
Bayless, a host on FS1’s “Skip and Shannon: Undisputed,” would routinely bash the Los Angeles Lakers star for his lack of a “clutch gene,” so it’s not surprising to see where he positioned James in his ranking.
As a huge fan of Michael Jordan, Bayless naturally put the former Chicago Bulls star at the top of his list. Laker legends Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar occupy second, third and fourth place, respectively, with former San Antonio Spurs star Tim Duncan rounded out his top five.
Bill Russell (No. 6), Kobe Bryant (7), Larry Bird (8), James (9) and Wilt Chamberlain (10) take up the last five slots in Bayless’ top 10.
The fact that James cracked his top 10 should come as a pleasant surprise to fans even though Bayless is well-known as a LeBron-hater. With the way he ruthlessly dissects James’ flaws in almost every episode of his show with Shannon Sharpe, it’s refreshing to see him recognize the four-time MVP’s place in the league’s pantheon of stars.
Meanwhile, Bayless’ all-time starting five reflects a slight deviation from his top 10 list.
Bryant cracked the lineup along with Johnson, Jordan, Duncan and Abdul-Jabbar. As popular as Bayless is for hating on James, his affinity for Duncan is also quite renowned since he’s a vocal supporter of the Spurs.
It will be interesting to see if the next episode on Bayless and Sharpe’s show will discuss the aforementioned lists.