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“As Soon As the Door Shut”: Skip Bayless Justifies Supporting OKC Thunder Despite Harrowing Experience and ‘Death Threats’

Abhishek Dhariwal

"As Soon As the Door Shut": Skip Bayless Justifies Supporting OKC Thunder Despite Harrowing Experience and 'Death Threats'

The Oklahoma City Thunder got their first taste of the NBA Finals back in 2012 when a young ‘Big Three’ went up against an experienced ‘Big Three’ of the Miami Heat. The OKC lost the finals in five games, giving way for critics. Despite being an Oklahoma City native, veteran NBA analyst Skip Bayless was also one of the critics, who lambasted the side led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. As a result of his constant criticism, the city of Oklahoma decided to take matters into its own hands.

The OKC squad blew past everyone in the West, finishing as the number one seed this year, which led a fan to question Oklahoma native, Skip Bayless’ love and loyalty toward his home team on The Skip Bayless Show.

A question of where his loyalty lay, Bayless took a trip down memory lane when he had to be escorted by a bodyguard during the 2012 NBA Finals due to constant death threats from Thunder fans. 

“When our team at First Take, took our show on the road for the first time ever to the 2012 Finals beginning in Oklahoma City, I’d have a bodyguard in my hometown because Thunder fans had sent me so many death threats. How could I root for that team?”


Bayless even shared an incident he had to endure when two middle-aged women berated him in his hotel elevator over his disapproving take on Thunder’s star point guard, Russell Westbrook, despite the analyst being escorted to and from his hotel to the arena and so forth.

“As I walked onto the elevator, two women, middle-aged women walked on behind me…And as soon as the door shut, they went off on me. They skewered me with scathing criticism for my criticism of Westbrook, all the way up to the 7th floor.”

At first, it seemed as if Bayless was justifying his reasons to not root for the Oklahoma City Thunder. But the veteran NBA analyst went on to reveal that he was indeed rooting for this OKC squad, despite the death threats and the face-off with those two middle-aged women.

Skip stated the Thunder are a fun team to watch but also a real threat nonetheless this year. And even though the team is comprised of a group of young guns with not much playoff experience, the 72-year-old sure as hell seemed confident about this Oklahoma City squad.

Skip Bayless vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder

Being an Oklahoma native and still not having a soft spot for the Oklahoma City Thunder is something only Skip Bayless can pull off. But that is what the Undisputed host is known for; his harsh takes on live television.

"As Soon As the Door Shut": Skip Bayless Justifies Supporting OKC Thunder Despite Harrowing Experience and 'Death Threats'
Credits: USA Today Sports

Now, one would assume that receiving death threats is a good enough sign to stop doing whatever it is that you were doing; but not Bayless. The TV persona either seemed to have ice in his veins or just a death wish altogether.

In 2016, Skip Bayless went off on the Thunder and expressed his major disbelief in the team as they faced the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. And this time, it was the Oklahoma City school system that decided to strike back with this message on X.(formerly Twitter)

“Hey, @espn please remind @RealSkipBayless that we taught him better than this. #Thunder #NBAplayoffs #NWClassenHS”

A brutal response from a State’s education reform system, luckily, Thunder fans finally have Bayless on board after clashing horns for more than a decade.

About the author

Abhishek Dhariwal

Abhishek Dhariwal


A fan of the sport since the late 2000s, Abhishek has been covering the game of basketball for the past five years now. Having done his masters in Journalism and Mass Communication, Abhishek prides himself in being referred to as a sports journalist at The SportsRush. A fan of the San Antonio Spurs since the Tim Duncan era, Abhishek has an extensive knowledge of the sport and has covered more than 1500 articles. Having a firsthand experience of the sport, Abhishek has represented his city and state at a district and national level. And it is the same level of expertise he aims to bring while covering extensive topics both on and off the court of your favorite basketball stars.

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