Skip Bayless on LeBron’s leadership after Finals GM 1: ‘He wouldn’t rejoin the team; he wouldn’t rally everybody together’

Video Details

Skip Bayless reveals his thoughts about LeBron James' leadership after seeing his reaction to JR Smith's blunder, which led to a Game 1 loss to the Golden State Warriors in OT. Skip also explains how LeBron distanced himself from the team and 'he wouldn't rally everybody together'. Do you agree with Skip?

- I don't want to pile on here to what is now history. We can't erase it. We can't change it.

REPORTER: Nope.

- Cleveland is down 0-2. At least they're going home to Game 3. But they had a very special opportunity in Game 1 as you just detailed. LeBron James had scored 51 points, and the game wasn't over at this point. It was just going to overtime.

SHANNON SHARPE: He had 49 at that point. He only got 2--

- That's right. He got 2 in overtime. That's right. So he had scored 49 up to that point. And the only thing that disappointed me about LeBron was, I still believe he's greater than that. His reaction turned into petulant child reaction to me, that he's better than, that all was not yet lost.

I get you. Psychologically, you can say all was lost. But on the scoreboard, it's still 0-0. And you have done what a lot of people thought was virtually impossible. You have gotten your-- what were they-- 13-point underdogs to overtime at Oracle in Game 1. And you had obviously just witnessed an all-time mental blunder by your man J R Smith.

But it's over. You can't erase it. He leans over and says, didn't we have a timeout? Well, obviously, they did because he was trying to call it, and Ty Lue was also trying to call a timeout from the distant bench. It was in the back court. And obviously, the refs are focused on the play. And they're not going to see it and give you that as the clock counts down.

- Unless you're right there in his ear.

SKIP BAYLESS: You have you have to get in his face.

- Yes.

- And so unfortunately, they didn't get the timeout. But to me, the game was still right there for the stealing. I picked the Cavs to win Game 1. And I still had a thought of, OK, you can still right the ship. And I expected, or half expected, LeBron to try to rally the troops.

I hoped that he would-- and we didn't get to see this extended video during the telecast the other night because nobody had it. But I thought maybe LeBron would lean over to J R, and put his hands on both shoulders, and say, I need you to snap out of it. What's done is done. And you're going to hit me a big shot in overtime. Because it's still right there. I don't trust Golden State to close these games because we've just seen them be shaky down the stretch of Game 1.

And instead, it felt like to me like LeBron sat a seat away from J R and sort of threw in the psychological towel. He was defeated at that point. He just couldn't get it back. He wouldn't rejoin the team. He wouldn't rally everybody together. He wouldn't put his arms around everyone. He just sort of disassociated.

And remember-- you know this better than anybody-- that team goes as the leader goes. He's going to set the tone in the huddle for how they're going to come out in overtime. And instead, LeBron basically, to me, just said, we just blew it.

And that was his body language when they came out for overtime, because remember, he did not even attempt a shot for the first 2 minutes and 26 seconds of overtime. And when he did attempt shots, they were half-hearted to me. It's like he just thought all was lost already.

He took four shots down the stretch of overtime. They were already down 7 points. He missed all four shots. They lost overtime 17 to 7.

So the great opportunity you spoke of, closing that deal-- this would've gone down as his greatest performance ever. And were you against all odds in overtime because of what had just happened? Sure you were. But it's not over.

And I think of Shannon Sharpe. I just believe that you-- especially as a veteran player, I just think you're going to try to rally the troops. You're going to try to get everybody to snap back into real time. Forget about it. Now let's go. In any overtime game, I think you're rallying the troops.