Skip Bayless on Jordan Clarkson: ‘I did immediately applaud him for showing a little fight back’

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In his discussion with Shannon Sharpe and Joy Taylor, Skip Bayless explains why he applauds Cleveland's Jordan Clarkson for retaliating against Philadelphia 76ers' Dario Saric after a late-game dunk. Clarkson was later ejected and the Cavaliers fell to Philly 97-108.

SKIP BAYLESS: But I did immediately applaud Jordan Clarkson on Twitter for showing a little fight back, just a little bit of anger. Because that was the second in the last one minute wide open dunk, Ben Simmons had wide open dunked two possessions before that. And, of course, Ben Simmons being Lebron's protege and client of clutch sports, you're not going to hit Ben Simmons in the back with the basketball. But Dario Saric from Croatia in just his second year in the league, he's a little more fair game. So, I get that. And I thought immediately that there was some retaliation going on because the shot of the game, which I'm going to get to in just a couple of minutes here, was hit by Dario Saric in the corner, a corner three, with about two minutes left. And when he nailed it, he turned quickly, briefly and said something to the Cavs bench. So, I thought Clarkson was retaliating for the team. And Clarkson was asked about it after the game and he said, "I didn't even see that."

SHANNON SHARPE: Right. Because he was on the court on the other side, Skip, so he probably didn't see. And you know how it works, Skip, if they miss it, you can't make it-- remember now the Clippers, Austin Rivers from the sideline against the Houston Rockets.

SKIP BAYLESS: It was just outrageous stuff. OK.


SKIP BAYLESS: And I assume there have been some back and forth going on. But the point is that Jordan Clarkson as a new Cavalier, I think he showed the other players in that locker room, "I'm made of this stuff. I'm not going to take that, I'm going to fight back." And it wasn't, again the end of the world to hit him in the back with the basketball. It's not the biggest thing in the world. It wasn't like he threw a punch at him. It escalated briefly. LeBron got in it, but then he didn't want to join in after the game. I was a little surprised. I thought LeBron would say, "I appreciate what Jordan did," after the game. But he did not want any part of it. He said, "They won the game." So he took the complete and utter highroad, right?

So, in the big picture Dave McMenamin who covers for, covers the Cavs, said that he talked to numerous Cavs in the locker room after the game who privately applauded what Jordan Clarkson did. So did he win points in the locker room?


SKIP BAYLESS: I'm pretty sure he won points in the locker room. Now, I don't know what you made of LeBron getting into it. I thought it was a little bit, I'm not going to say fake tough guy, but he just sort of had to join in the fray. At one point in that, one of the refs tried to get in and LeBron did push the refs back. He doesn't need to be fined for this. It was egregious, it wasn't out of bounds, he was just trying to say, "I got this," as the--

SHANNON SHARPE: Tell them to get back.


SHANNON SHARPE: You don't know me like that.

SKIP BAYLESS: That's true. No, that's exactly what he was saying. And he got in some faces, he got in Saric's faces, but then he flips around. And again, Jordon Clarkson if he had not been ejected, which he obviously was, I don't think Jordan Clarkson would have gone to shake the hands of the 76ers. And I think some Cavs fans are going to find it offensive that LeBron at the buzzer, then it's like forgive and forget, and he's hugging a lot of the Sixers. Obviously Ben Simmons is his protege, he's the new king, the next king, client of clutch sports. And he loves Embiid, so they're hugging after the game. And he hugged J.J. Redick, and it looked like he and J.J. Were getting into a little bit at the end of the game. So he's hugging all the Sixers and it's all in the wake of the speculation that he might go to the Sixers next year. So he was quick forgive and forget. I did not love that because it shows a lack of competitive fire to me. I don't want to see LeBron hugging that team if that team was dunking on you at the end of the game.