Skip Bayless reacts to LeBron’s ‘self-reflecting’ comments after notching 14th triple-double

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Skip Bayless reacts to LeBron James 'fine like wine, better with age' comments after getting his 14th triple-double of the season in Cleveland's win over Phoenix.

- My big picture takeaway from last night's game at Phoenix against the woeful Phoenix Suns--

SHANNON SHARPE: Don't do that, Skip.

- --is that I really thought, for just one night, your man, LeBron James, would give it a rest. I thought for just one night we would get no "hooray for me," that he would just back off and say, you know what, enough of my over-the-top, unbecoming self-promotion. I'm just going to say what I should say, which is, come on guys.

SHANNON SHARPE: Mm mm.

- It was just Phoenix.

SHANNON SHARPE: Mm mm.

- Let's just call it a day, because we took care of business against the Phoenix Suns, which is what they did, right? The Phoenix Suns are the worst defensive team in all of basketball. So should this have happened last night? It sure should have happened.

SHANNON SHARPE: I called it.

- I was impressed. Oh, that's-- that's a hard call.

SHANNON SHARPE: Another one's gonna happen on Thursday.

- That's going way out on a limb.

- Another one's gonna happen. Yeah, uh huh!

SKIP BAYLESS: Now, that's going out on a limb. Yeah, we'll get there in just a little bit.

SHANNON SHARPE: [LAUGHS]

- But the point is, LeBron James, as I've told you, is by far the biggest self-promoter in the history of sports, and it's so beneath his dignity, because he doesn't need to keep telling us how great he is, because we know he's great. He's not as great as that one guy--

SHANNON SHARPE: Yeah, he is. See.

- --but he's-- that's the problem.

SHANNON SHARPE: You keep forgetting. That's why he keep reminding you.

SKIP BAYLESS: [SIGHS] So back to the possessions, and I'm not going to hit this too hard, because I agree with your big picture point. LeBron has gotten better offensively with age, because he has the high IQ. Now he's got the savvy, he's got the experience. And when you combine it all together, he's playing at the highest offensive level he's ever played at.

SHANNON SHARPE: Mm hm.

- I give you that, at the expense of his defense, because he's not playing much defense, and he wasn't required to play much defense at all last night.

SHANNON SHARPE: He had three blocks last night.

- Although, I thought-- you know what? I thought as a team, they played a little better on defense. You know, I--

SHANNON SHARPE: You wanna--

- Again, you predicted that Devin Booker'd go for like 40 or 50, and he went for 17. So that was-- somebody played some defense other than Devin Booker.

SHANNON SHARPE: Oh, you ain't talking about them blocks? Oh, Ashley, LeBron had three blocks last night. You saw that steal?

SKIP BAYLESS: Who is Ashley? Where did that come from?

JOY TAYLOR: Ashley is my researcher.

- Oh, so you're just screaming at Ashley out of nowhere?

- Why are you yelling at Ashley?

- 'Cause she always talking about LeBron don't play no defense, he can't block no shots.

- No, what it is is that Ashley is a Spurs fan, so everyday--

- Yeah, I realize that.

- --he tries to give her--

- I was just trying to clue our audience in. You're just, like, throwing names out there. Nobody know what you're talking about.

- What about that steal? Did you see that steal?

- [LAUGHS]

- OK, so back to possession. So in LeBron's rookie season, the Cavs averaged 94.6 possessions. Now they're up to 101 possessions. And the league average is about that, so it's-- so it's trended up.

SHANNON SHARPE: Yeah.

- Everybody's getting more possessions.

SHANNON SHARPE: Yes.

- Back in the day of Oscar Robertson, they were all way over this.

SHANNON SHARPE: They were in the 130s.

- Yeah. OK, so there is some truth to the question that the questioner was asking LeBron. And again, he didn't just nuke him. He was laughing. There was a chuckle in his voice. Possessions, my you-know-what. OK, but so there's some truth there.

But now let's get to the method to the madness here. What has happened to LeBron James of late? LeBron James sat back last year and started to notice, wait, the world is like over the moon over Russell Westbrook averaging a triple-double, the first since Oscar back in 1961-1962 season? And LeBron started thinking, gee, I got to start making triple-doubles, because everybody loves triple-doubles. I should have been doing this a long time ago.

SHANNON SHARPE: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

- So last year, he had a career-high 13 triple-doubles. Now he's got-- he broke it again this year with 14.

SHANNON SHARPE: Mm hm.

- And yet, the five seasons before last season, he had 10 total over five seasons. Think about that. 10 total over five seasons, then all of a sudden he goes 13, and 14 this year. And he averaged a triple-double for the month of February this year for the first month of his whole career. And I was shocked by that. I thought, that's the first time he's ever done that, right?

SHANNON SHARPE: Yeah, and what's amazing, Skip, is that, think about all the lineup shifts, and he's still getting these nine assists tonight. Kyle Korver was in the starting lineup, Jeff Green.

- Back to the point, so last year in the finals, LeBron focused on, he prioritized, I got to have triple-doubles.

SHANNON SHARPE: No, he--

- He knows in his heart of hearts they can't beat Golden State. So they lost. They basically got swept in five games.

SHANNON SHARPE: They didn't get swept.

- Yeah, they did.

SHANNON SHARPE: Stop making up stories!

- OK, well, I'm not. But they lost in five games, and he averaged a triple-double.

SHANNON SHARPE: Yeah.

- And it allows the blind witnesses out there, the LeBron fans, to sit back and say, yeah, we lost. But out man had a triple-double. That's all I ever hear from you, Yeah, but he had a triple-double. So at this point in his career, LeBron has realized he must prioritize stats over championships, because he's never going to catch 6 in 0 with six finals MVPs Michael Jordan.

SHANNON SHARPE: Skip, he can't help--

- He can't catch it.

SHANNON SHARPE: He can't help that-- that it's just so easy. It looks so effortless.

- But see, why didn't he do it before? He could have done it his whole career?

SHANNON SHARPE: No, he--

- And you know what, I promise you he regrets that he didn't focus on triple-doubles as a rookie, because he could have had triple-doubles.

SHANNON SHARPE: No, well, it's-- the triple-double requires that guys can make shots. He had a different type of team in Miami. Now he has guys that can make the 3-point shot. And you saw that, Skip, pass, he's coming into the lane. He kicked that thing to Jeff Green. I didn't even see it.

- Mm.

- But you saw the one the other night, Skip, when he served that thing up. And then, one hand baseball pass, I thought he was Doc Gooden.

- I've told you from the start, he is still the best passer in basketball. So he has now prioritized rebounding--

SHANNON SHARPE: No he's not!

- He is the best passer and he can be one of the top rebounders. He's 6' 9", 280.

SHANNON SHARPE: Stop it!

- Well, you said after you saw him on the street.

SHANNON SHARPE: I said he was 260!

- Well, he's listed at 260. I think you were--

SHANNON SHARPE: 65.

- OK, go to 70.

SHANNON SHARPE: 65.

- I'll split the difference. So let's say he's 6' 9", 270.

SHANNON SHARPE: OK, 264.

- Because you said the man is put together.

SHANNON SHARPE: He is.

- Right? OK.

SHANNON SHARPE: Woo!

- OK, all right.

SHANNON SHARPE: He was.

- So should he be able to average 10 rebounds a game? Yes.

SHANNON SHARPE: He's averaging--

- Yes.

SHANNON SHARPE: Skip, here's the thing--