Skip Bayless on LeBron James, Lakers already showing defensive struggles in NBA preseason

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Skip Bayless weighs in on LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers after their preseason loss to the Denver Nuggets. He explains why they're already showing signs of struggles on defense.

- I-- I-- I actually watched this game. I watched it more than I watched the Ravens and the Steelers because I had it on my other TV, and I just couldn't stop watching LeBron because I saw exactly what I expected to see.

JENNY TAFT: Oh, boy.

- I saw wildly entertaining Lakers offense. I saw push the ball like crazy. I saw slams. I saw circus shots. I saw an offense made for Hollywood.


- Yeah! And I saw little to no defense because that's what this team is going to play-- little to no defense. So with LeBron James, the quote, unquote, "best player on the planet," says LeShannon Sharpe. On the floor for most of the first half, Lakers gave up 66 points to Denver. Is that good? Because that's on a pace to give up 132 for the game. Is that good?

I don't think that's very good. And of course, they trailed by 12 at halftime. That's in spite of having LeBron play 15 minutes in the first half. Welcome to the West LeHollywood James because that's who you're gonna be. You're mostly LeHollywood. So let's put this in perspective. With LeBron as the leader of the Cavaliers last year, they finished second to worst in defense in the Eastern-- in the Leastern Conference-- as LeBron plummeted to 308th in individual defensive win shares last year.

Is that good? That's-- in the whole NBA, your 308th? So now you've added LeBron, who plays no defense, to a team that gave up the 25th most points last year. Gee. And wait a second-- you added a starting point guard-- Rajon Rondo-- who can be a defensive liability. Really? So wait a second. He's gonna take most of the-- it sounds like he's gonna take all the minutes away from Lonzo because Lonzo's still coming back from his knee scope.

And-- and-- by-- it sounds like the way LeBron talks that he wants Rondo to be his man at point guard because Rondo knows how to play. He's got the high IQ. But he just doesn't play any defense. So wait a second. You're gonna take the guy off the floor who was the Lakers best defender last year. That's Lonzo Ball because he led this team in blocks for most of the year.

He let it in rebounds for a good portion of the year. And he led it in steals for the whole year. So that's your best defensive player as Lonzo Ball at 6'7". And you're telling me he's probably not gonna get to play very much because Rondo's going to play. But LeBron tried to show off his historical NFL knowledge--


- Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

SHANNON SHARPE: That's unnecessary, Skip.

- For the LA media that's skeptical-- they're skeptical. LeBron says-- he says, watch this. Watch how much I know about the NFL. And he compares Rajon Rondo at about six feet tall to Warren Sapp and Ray Lewis. That's the analogy he's making. He says, I got their backs just the way Derrick Brooks and Ed Reed had their backs.

I don't really get that. That's losing me. But-- but what he's trying to say is I've got Rondo's back. I'm the next line of defense. But actually, you're gonna need like a third line of defense behind LeBron because somebody-- who's gonna be behind him? I don't know what position that is in football, because safety is the last position, right?