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5 Players That Skip Bayless Loves And 5 Players That He Hates

5 Players That Skip Bayless Loves And 5 Players That He Hates

Skip Bayless is one of the most renowned and respected analysts in NBA history, whether you agree with his takes or not. The iconic commentator will always speak his mind, even if he did not play professional basketball in his own life or if his opinions go against the norm. That is what makes Skip so popular in the industry because he is one of the most polarizing figures in the media.

The fact that he sticks to his guns no matter what makes him a must-watch figure on television. Skip Bayless has his fans in the media and in the sports world, but his detractors seem to have the most passionate opinions on Skip (most noticeably Charles Barkley from Inside The NBA). Even players that Skip praises, including Kevin Durant, tend to have issues with the ESPN analyst. But throughout Skip’s legendary career as a basketball analyst, some NBA players have been given the benefit of the doubt from the analyst while others have faced his wrath.

Here are the 5 NBA players that Skip loves and the 5 players he hates. Based on video evidence and what we have seen from Skip over his career, here is the list of these NBA players that fall into both categories.


5 Players That Skip Loves


5. Manu Ginobili

Manu Ginobili is a future Hall of Fame player and a legendary servant for the San Antonio Spurs. Winning 4 NBA championships with the team, Manu had All-Star skills and capabilities despite accepting a 6th man role. Had Ginobili started more, he might have made more All-Star Teams over his career and averaged a higher career PPG. As a result, Ginobili is regarded as one of the most unselfish stars in NBA history.

Ginobili is one of the players that Skip loves, mainly because he helped the Spurs dominate the league for over a decade. Skip is also fond of Manu’s ability to come through in the clutch, something the Argentinian did on a consistent basis. Thanks to Manu’s unselfishness and ability to be a fire-starter off the bench, Manu is a Spurs legend and one of Bayless’ favorite stars.


4. Kawhi Leonard

Even if Skip Bayless went through a patch where he could not stand for Kawhi after he forced his way out of San Antonio, The Claw found himself back in Skip’s good graces after he joined the Los Angeles Clippers instead of the Lakers. There was a ton of rumors before the 2020 season about where Leonard was going to sign after winning the 2019 championship with the Toronto Raptors. Of course, the Los Angeles Lakers were the team that many thought was Leonard’s primary destination.

After all, the Lakers had LeBron James on the roster along with the newly acquired Anthony Davis. Instead of forming a Big Three with the Lakers, he went to the Clippers to become LeBron James’ biggest rival. Of course, anytime Skip has a chance to go against LeBron, he will tend to do so. With Leonard in Los Angeles and looking for his 3rd championship, Bayless will support him all the way until the end with the Spurs drama a thing of the past.


3. Kevin Durant

Skip Bayless absolutely adores Kevin Durant as a basketball player, as he has stated on many occasions. While Bayless’ love might be fueled by his desire to find rivals to LeBron James, Durant is undoubtedly one of the top-five talents of his generation. A 4-time scorer and arguably the most unstoppable perimeter player of all time, Kevin Durant has solidified himself as one of the top-15 players who have ever played the game.

For years during Durant’s spell in Oklahoma City, Skip Bayless begged and pleaded for the team to force-feed the ball to the 6’10” forward instead of the 6’3” Russell Westbrook. Bayless sounded like a broken record with regards to Durant taking a backseat at times and pleaded for the scoring forward to showcase more of a selfish attitude. It never happened, but Durant had the most success in his career with the Golden State Warriors. With Durant capturing back-to-back Finals MVPs at the expense of LeBron James, Skip Bayless was a very happy man.


2. Tim Duncan

Skip Bayless is extremely fond of Tim Duncan, the greatest player in the history of Skip’s favorite team: the San Antonio Spurs. While Bayless tends to have factual evidence of Duncan’s incredible impact on the court, sometimes Skip’s love for Duncan comes in the way. The analyst is sometimes completely blinded by Duncan’s success and tends to place him higher on the all-time list than even LeBron James. But one thing is for certain: Tim Duncan is the greatest power forward ever no matter who he is compared to.

The closest thing to Duncan in terms of impact was Karl Malone, but not even the Utah Jazz legend could capture multiple NBA titles like Duncan did. Even as Duncan played into his late 30’s, Skip Bayless was absolutely certain that the big man was the best interior defender in the world and had been since his rookie season. While it is hard to argue against Skip’s praise for Duncan, the 5-time champion is still not Skip’s favorite player of all time.


1. Michael Jordan

Who else would be number 1? Skip Bayless absolutely praises Michael Jordan in every way at any chance he gets. It is really hard to argue against Skip’s praise because Michael was sincerely something out of this world. We have seen countless great players to come before and after Michael including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James among others; but no one came close to the dominance that Jordan showcased on the floor.

Winning 6 championships and never losing in the Finals, Jordan dominated every aspect of the NBA game. Michael also did something that Skip values the highest: 4th quarter dominance. Skip tends to ignore what goes on for the majority of the game and focus on the last quarter, where names are made and games are won. Jordan was the king of the clutch, coming through in countless regular-season and postseason moments on top. Just like Skip’s colleague Shannon Sharpe worships LeBron James as the best player in the world, Bayless will never change his mind about Michael being the GOAT.


5 Players That Skip Hates


5. Damian Lillard

For whatever reason, Skip Bayless does not seem to appreciate Damian Lillard’s greatness on the court. His main argument for Lillard being an overrated player is the point guard’s lack of success in the postseason. Bayless admits that Lillard is one of the most clutch players in the league, but the analyst tends to believe that the point guard only comes through in the regular season. While Lillard does not have the postseason resume of other great players in the league, Skip tends to be a bit harsh on the Trail Blazers superstar.

Bayless even has a 6-minute video where he finds countless ways of coming at Lillard as a leader, winner, and all-around superstar. In fact, Skip does not believe that Dame is a superstar at all and just tends to wow audiences with his regular-season performances. Whether Bayless likes it or not, Damian Lillard was named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team and will be a future Hall of Famer regardless.


4. Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic is one of the best young players in the world and will soon be the face of the NBA if he continues his incredible production on the court. The Slovenian star has already made 2 All-Star Teams and 2 All-NBA Teams at 22 years old, capturing Rookie of the Year in his rookie season as well. The Slovenian star has a methodical way of playing the game by being a primary ball-handler who scores and also creates for others. But Skip is not fond of the All-Star’s game, mainly because of one name, Larry Bird.

Luka has the nickname “Baby Bird” in the media because he has a high-arcing shot and plays the game with limited explosiveness like the great Larry Legend. Bird is one of Skip’s all-time favorite players because the small forward was an all-time clutch performer and winner. The Celtics legend won 3 NBA titles, 2 Finals MVPs, and 3 MVPs as the face of the league during the 80s (along with Magic Johnson). Skip scoffs at the comparison between Luka and Bird, even though this comparison is a bit unfair to Luka at this stage of his career. Doncic has a very long way to go to be as dominant as Bird over an entire career, but at this moment, Bayless will not entertain any talk about Luka’s greatness at any moment.


3. Allen Iverson

Even though Skip and Allen Iverson have both claimed that they do not hate each other at all, there is no doubt that the analyst has said some very disparaging things against the 4-time scoring champion. Iverson came on TV during his time with the Denver Nuggets to ask why Bayless hates him so much, to which Skip responded by claiming he does not hate the 2001 MVP. While nobody has the right to dispute Bayless’ comments about not hating him, the analyst has come out on countless occasions to bash Iverson as a player.

Skip often referred to Iverson as “Me, Myself, and Iverson” with regards to the player’s selfishness as a player. While there is no denying that Iverson played the game his way by taking a ton of shots and looking to score every time, Skip’s comments have often been harsh. Bayless spread his gospel about how Iverson would never win an NBA title because of his selfishness and will hold onto that sentiment as long as he is on TV. Skip will be the first to praise Iverson’s all-time great heart and guts, but the analyst was clearly not a fan of the Hall of Famer’s playing style.


2. Russell Westbrook

There is no player that has faced Skip’s wrath more this season than Russell Westbrook. In fact, Westbrook has been Skip’s target since his early days in Oklahoma City. Bayless is native to Oklahoma City and loves the Thunder, but he does not love what Westbrook does on the court. The triple-double king is an incredible individual talent, but his lack of team success is the source of Skip’s criticism at any moment. For years, Bayless bashed Westbrook for being a selfish point guard that took possessions away from an all-time great scorer in Kevin Durant.

But Bayless’ criticisms go way beyond that. Skip has repeated himself countless times about Westbrook being out of control, box-score obsessed, and a turnover machine. Bayless does not believe that Westbrook will ever win an NBA title, and unfortunately, that does seem true. Westbrook is not playing well with the Lakers this season, and the team has struggled on both ends of the floor. While Skip is entitled to his opinion about Westbrook and has many strong points about the point guard, that does not take away from the fact that the analyst is not fond of Westbrook by any means.


1. LeBron James

There is no player in NBA history that has been more widely criticized than LeBron James, and Skip Bayless is the biggest detractor. Even if Skip denies that he has a personal hatred for LeBron, it is very hard to believe considering how many times Bayless criticizes The King on a daily basis. Earlier in LeBron’s career, Skip beat the drum how the small forward crowned himself King without any rings. After James’ failure in the 2011 Finals, Skip had ammunition for the rest of his career, once again beating a drum about how James is not clutch and lacks a killer instinct.

Ray Allen’s playoff shot in the 2013 Finals also gave Skip ammo with regard to the sharpshooter “saving LeBron’s career”. Even after James won NBA titles and became the undisputed best player in the game, Skip constantly nitpicks about aspects of James’ game. Whether it’s LeBron’s free-throw shooting, three-point shooting, or his social media posts; Skip will always find something to criticize about The King. Finally, and most importantly, the GOAT debate sets Skip off more than anything else. Bayless’ favorite player ever is Michael Jordan, and he does not think James can tie the former Chicago Bulls star’s shoes. Bayless cannot accept that LeBron, with a 4-6 Finals record, has a chance to usurp Jordan and his 6-0 Finals record. Bayles will always find a way to bring up LeBron’s shooting inconsistencies, playoff failures, and dark on-court moments; because The King is Skip’s most hated player. 

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