Shannon Sharpe weighs in on what LeBron’s ‘cakewalk’ path to 2018 Finals truly looks like

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In light of Steph Curry, Kawhi Leonard and now Kyrie Irving all going down with injuries, Shannon Sharpe looks ahead to the 2018 NBA playoffs, revealing what LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers must do in order to take advantage of other teams' health concerns and make it back to the NBA finals. Do you agree with Shannon?

- Shannon, after the injuries to Kyrie and Steph--

- Go ahead, sorry.

- I mean, he's got a little-- he's got a little cold-- a little--

- Sick.

- Under the weather.

- Yeah, he's--

- Poor man.

- How much easier is LeBron's path to a title now?

- LeBron's path is what it all-- what it's always been, and this is the dilemma that LeBron always faces. If he gets to the Finals, the East is weak. If he beats them, well, Steph is injured. OK, nobody said-- no one gave him a pass for losing to the Golden State Warriors minus Kevin Love, minus Kyrie. OK, KD, now you are about to see what it's like.

But you're going to get-- you're going to get Klay back. You're going to get Draymond back. It'd have been very, very interesting to see if Swaggy P is your second-best player or Shaun Livingston is your third-best-- second or third-best player how far they actually go. That would be very interesting to see.

- Wait, are you talking about that first finals against Golden State when LeBron was up two games to one at his house?

- Whoa, whoa, whoa.

- He's the best player on the planet.

SHANNON SHARPE: Yeah, he is.

- What happened?

- But no one has said Golden State's path is easy. Nobody said, oh, Golden State's path is easy because they lost those two guys, did they? Oh, but now LeBron. Hold on, Skip.

It's the regular season. Now if it was game-- if it was the second round of the playoffs and Steph had this injury-- if it was second round of the playoffs and Kyrie had this injury, now come talk to me. You and I both know those guys will be back by the time the second round of the playoffs start.

SKIP BAYLESS: What about the first round?

- Oh, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

SKIP BAYLESS: What about it? Right now, it would be the Utah Jazz.


- Are you sure?


- You sure he's going to be back? I'm not sure.

- You've got KD.

- Is Klay going to be back? I don't know. I'm not sure.

- Whoa, whoa, whoa.

- Klay's got a fractured thumb.

- Ah, this is what we know.

- Oh.

- Even when LeBron didn't have Kyrie, even when he didn't have Kevin Love, and he didn't have D Wade and Chris Bosh, we know LeBron James has never ever failed to get out of the first round. So I don't want to hear about who Kevin Durant--

- But he's been playing in the L'Eastern.

- Whoo.

- Yeah.

- Slow down, Skip.

- Yes, Nellie.

- I know you're chomping at the bit.

- Go.

- I know you don't like what you've been seeing. I know it's bothering you.

- It doesn't bother me.

- I know it bothers you--

- It is what it is.

- --that he's 30.5, 10, and 10. I know that bothers you, Skip. It annoys a lot of people.

- It doesn't bother me a bit.

- Ever since we went to Wakanda, we got on that vibranium. Yeah.

- I wonder, do they--

- No, no, stop wondering.

SKIP BAYLESS: Wait, do they test for vibranium?

- Yeah.

SKIP BAYLESS: I just wonder.

- No.

SKIP BAYLESS: I think the NBA-- I think, Commissioner, we need to test for vibranium starting now.

- It's bountiful where we come from.


- Yeah.

SKIP BAYLESS: But he's the only one who has it.

- That's right, and I ain't telling nobody where we get it from.

SKIP BAYLESS: Maybe they do test for vibranium, but they withhold the results of LeBron's test.

- Oh, what-- Skip, what you trying to imply, Skip?

SKIP BAYLESS: I-- you started it.

JOY TAYLOR: You're the one implying.

- I said we own that vibranium.




- I know it's upsetting, Skip?

SKIP BAYLESS: Does LeBron have the number?

- Yeah, he got it, and he put Joe Harris-- chomped him up.

JOY TAYLOR: Shannon's just very excited to quote about the movie because it took him a month ago to go see it.

SKIP BAYLESS: You finally saw it.

- You know what, Skip? I'm trying to figure out why are all these guys trying to jump into these body bags? When you see LeBron turn the corner, Skip, get out the way. It is not worth it.

SKIP BAYLESS: Wait, are we talking about the same Joe Harris who scored 30 points on the Cavaliers, many of them on LeBron James?

- Uh, we're talking about that--

- That guy?

- We're talking about that Joe Harris that got that body bag--


- Got chomped up with Nurkic.

- The ex-Cavalier Joe Harris--

- Yeah.

- --who's bounced around and scored-- is that right? My box score says he scored 30 points.

- He did have 30.

- Ah, he made 11 out of 14 shots, often guarded by LeBron James.

- Oh, you got the-- oh, you got the same stat sheet I got?

- Yeah.

- Oh, and it says 121-- some team had 121. The other had 114.

- Oh.

- Which one had 121? So Joe Harris' stats are obsolete. Skip Bayless, back to the original point. Has LeBron James' path gotten any easier?

LeBron James was coming out of the East regardless because, see, this is what you were going to do. He comes out of the East. Oh, they didn't have Gordon Hayward, Kyrie's nicked. He beat--

- Nicked? He just had surgery.

- No, no, no, no.

- Nicked?

- They said minor. That's what they said.

- This is the arthroscopic surgery.

- How--

- It's a procedure.

- Skip, I'm not--

- They have to stick the little thing in the knee, you know.

- Look.

- Yeah.

- I'm not Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

- OK, yeah.

- I'm not Frank Jobe. I'm not Dr. Andrews, so I'm just going by what's being reported.

- Three to six weeks now.

- OK, now--

- Game over for Boston.

- If they beat the Heat, you're going to say, well, they don't have Dion Waiters.

- Well, they don't.

- Oh, if they beat the 76ers, that's a young team. Joel Embiid is just a baby. Ben Simmons can't--

- Yeah, but you told me Friday, Philly is not near ready to deal with LeBron in the postseason.

- I'm just telling you what you're going to say when LeBron comes up out of the East. And then--

- I'm going to say, that's what was supposed to happen.

- Exactly. And then when he doesn't, what are you going to say? He choked. See, he can't win, a dilemma.

- Well, how's he going to choke in the East?

- Merriam-Webster defines "dilemma" as two equally perplexing situations?

- Did you just look that up?

- No, I knew it, I knew it. I've been wanting to say that for a long time. And that's what LeBron has always been up against, Skip. If he does, he was supposed to. If he doesn't, he choked.