Back in 2016, LeBron James led the Cavaliers to historically come back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals. Unsurprisingly, Skip Bayless gave a horrendous take on how Kyrie Irving deserved the Finals MVP trophy more than LBJ.
The 2015-2016 campaign was one of the best seasons ever. Legends like Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, and Tim Duncan played the sport for the final time, we witnessed Stephen Curry win the first-ever unanimous MVP award, saw GSW create history by winning 73 games, and many more. But no other moment was as incredible as LeBron James leading his Cleveland Cavaliers team to mount an unreal comeback, from a 3-1 deficit, to win Cleveland’s first-ever NBA title in 52 years.
Entering the 2016 playoffs, Steph and the GSW were looking like the strongest title contenders. The team was in sensational form, players well-rested, and had lost only 9 games in the regular season. After handing a gentlemen’s sweep to Houston and Portland in the first two rounds, the Warriors surprised OKC by overcoming a 3-1 deficit in the WCF and entered their 2nd consecutive finals.
As the Warriors took a huge 3-1 lead against the Cavs, a huge majority of the analysts considered the series to be a wrap and all over for LBJ and co. Much to everyone’s surprise, Ty Lue’s boy fought back hard and managed to win the 2016 Larry O’Brien, being the only team in NBA history to win a finals series after being down 3-1.
Skip Bayless believed it was Kyrie Irving and not LeBron James who deserved the 2016 Finals MVP
The 2016 Finals performance produced by King James is considered to be one of the best finals performances ever. During those seven games, the 4-time MVP stuffed the stat sheet averaging 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 8.9 assists, 2.6 steals, 2.3 blocks per game on an incredibly efficient 37/49/72 shooting split, and even had one of the best defensive plays of all time in the dying minutes of Game 7.
Unquestionably, it was LBJ who deserved and lifted the Bill Russell Finals MVP trophy. Analysts, enthusiasts and former legends of the game all over the world were in awe of Bron’s incredible performance. However, there was an analyst who believed that Kyrie Irving was more deserving of the FMVP trophy than LeBron – Skip Bayless.
On the 20th June 2016 episode of “First Take” Bayless, widely considered as a LeBron hater, disclosed how Irving deserved the coveted trophy more than James did. Skip explained:
“Obviously it was a runaway train for the media to jump to the conclusion that LeBron James was the MVP of the series. I get that because LeBron James was a freight train on the basketball court.
You just gave me what LeBron’s definition of MVP was. You know what he said when Steph won and he said ‘obviously he (Steph) was the best player, but maybe somebody else was more valuable.’ That’s what happened in this series.
I do not disagree that LeBron was the best player on the court. And I get you he can stuff that stat sheet like nobody’s business. By the way, if I may include this before I start my argument – he also stuffed the turnover category of the stat sheet, because he tied the all-time finals record for most turnovers in finals.
LeBron James was great, but Kyrie was more valuable in this series.”
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This is just one of many Bayless’ terrible takes on LeBron.
Sure, Kyrie had a huge impact in the series. His 27.1/3.9/3.9 performance was pretty crucial in Cleveland’s success. However, with no disrespect to Kyrie, there was no player in that series who deserved the trophy more than James did.