Skip Bayless Puts Another Dent to Lebron James’ Legacy After Shaq’s GOAT Claim Over Michael Jordan

Published 10/22/2021, 6:30 AM EDT
Oct 6, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James prior to the preseason game against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


As LeBron James continues to play in the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers star is often referred to as a GOAT. He has played 19 years in the league, winning four titles with three different teams. In a recent interview, Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal referred to James as the GOAT.

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While talking to the LA Times, O’Neal based his argument on James becoming the league’s lead all-time scorer. He highlighted that James should be looking to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in scoring, currently ranked third behind Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone. If he keeps up a 25-point average for the upcoming two seasons, he’ll surpass Abdul-Jabbar, eventually.

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Skip Bayless, however, doesn’t seem to agree with O’Neal.

Skip Bayless chimes in on the LeBron James GOAT debate with Michael Jordan stats

Bayless recently broke down O’Neal’s claims – which depend on James becoming the highest scorer in the league. The 49-year-old also spoke of himself passing Wilt Chamberlain on the list, which would have been his benchmark for himself. “‘Cause if I would have passed Wilt [Chamberlain] in scoring, you know me. I would have been, ‘I’m the most dominant ever.’ I don’t want to hear [Chamberlain’s] name no more”. 

As per O’Neal, if James achieved this feat, no one would be able to argue about him being the GOAT. Bayless seemed to object, pointing out how being the lead scorer did not prove anything. In the end, he brought Michael Jordan stats into the equation.

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Why does Bayless disagree with O’Neal?

Sep 28, 2021; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) is photographed during media day at the UCLA Health and Training Center in El Segundo, Calif. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

According to Bayless, Jordan played 11 proper seasons in the NBA – much less than James. In fact, the Lakers star is going to continue and play on, probably staying in the NBA for over two decades.

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“LeBron has already played 9,081 more minutes than Jordan and 239 more games,” he wrote in response, adding that Jordan’s career was shorter than that of James’. As a result, even if he has the scoring title, Bayless thinks he ends up losing the GOAT battle to Jordan.

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Golf – The 2020 Ryder Cup – Whistling Straits, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, U.S. – September 25, 2021 Michael Jordan watches the action by the 11th green during the Four-balls REUTERS/Mike Segar

Of course, fans and their reactions were mixed. Some agreed with Bayless, while some did not. The GOAT debate has always been controversial in nature, James and Jordan and the center of it. Having said that, one cannot deny that both James and Jordan will remain two of the best players the world has ever seen.

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Devika

429 articles

Devika Pawar is a Golf and NBA writer at Essentially Sports. A psychology graduate from KJ Somaiya, Devika has an experience with sportswriting at Republic World for around two years now. She loves NBA a little too much, and is a dedicated Golden State Warriors fan.

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