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“Does MJ Beat the 6 Teams LeBron Lost to?”: Fan Puts Skip Bayless’ Michael Jordan Beliefs to the Test

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

"Does MJ Beat the 6 Teams LeBron Lost to?": Fan Puts Skip Bayless' Michael Jordan Beliefs to the Test

Noted LeBron James critic and avid Michael Jordan enthusiast, Skip Bayless doesn’t let any opportunity to downplay the Los Angeles Lakers superstar’s greatness slide. So when the analyst was presented with a chance to talk down on James and prop Jordan while fielding questions on the latest episode of the Skip Bayless podcast, he unsurprisingly went all-in.

One of his listeners asked, “Could Michael Jordan beat the six NBA Finals teams LeBron lost to?” Bayless compared James’ first NBA Finals battle against the San Antonio Spurs to Jordan and the Chicago Bulls facing off against the Larry Bird-led Boston Celtics in the first round of the 1986 playoffs. The Bulls were swept 3-0, but the series is fondly remembered for Jordan’s Game 2 heroics in Boston. He finished the game with 63 points, six assists, five rebounds, three steals, and two blocks, prompting Bird to give him the ultimate compliment during a post-game interview with the Boston Globe,

“I think he’s God disguised as Michael Jordan. He is the most awesome player in the NBA. Today in Boston Garden, on national TV, in the playoffs, he put on one of the greatest shows of all time. I couldn’t believe anybody could do that against the Boston Celtics.”

Bayless, a Spurs fan, claimed that the 1986 Bulls with a young Jordan would’ve suffered the same fate as 23-year-old James and the Cavaliers. While he was measured in his approach when discussing the Lakers superstar’s first Finals loss, the rest didn’t follow suit. Bayless claimed the 1998 Bulls would’ve easily beaten the 2011 Dallas Mavericks, the 2014 San Antonio Spurs, and the 2015 Golden State Warriors.

The 72-year-old then stopped explaining and simply claimed that the 1998 Bulls would’ve beaten the Kevin Durant-led 2017 and 2018 Warriors. While it doesn’t make sense that the same team – the 1998 Bulls – would face five different teams across eight years, in the analyst’s hypothetical scenario it did and beat them all.

Although the question was thought-provoking, it seemed like Bayless turned it into an opportunity to run a PR campaign for the 1998 Bulls team.

Andre Iguodala makes his picks between the Bulls and the Warriors

The 2017 Warriors featuring Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, won the NBA title, many dubbed them the best team in NBA history. However, others claimed they were at best second behind the 1996 Chicago Bulls which went 72-10 in the regular season and won the NBA title.

Andre Iguodala, who won four NBA titles with the Warriors, also chimed in on the debate and made his pick. In an episode of the Point Forward podcast, the retired star told Evan Turner,

“I’m picking the Bulls, I’m not even arguing with you because any team with Michael Jordan on it, I’m picking. Except for 2012 [US Men’s Olympic Basketball Team] vs. the ’92 Dream Team. I’m not picking the ’92 team, I’m picking us even though the ’92 team had MJ.”

Iguodala, a key contributor to the 2017 Warriors roster, suggesting that the 1996 Bulls is the best team of all time holds a lot more weight than Bayless’ hasty run-through of Jordan destroying every team LeBron James lost to in the NBA Finals during his career.

About the author

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar


Jay Lokegaonkar is a basketball journalist who has been following the sports as a fan 2005. He has worked in a slew of roles covering the NBA, including writer, editor, content manager, social media manager, and head of content since 2018. However, his primary passion is writing about the NBA. Especially throwback stories about the league's iconic players and franchises. Revisiting incredible tales and bringing scarcely believable stories to readers are one his main interests as a writer.

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