LeBron James is probably the best basketball player of his generation, but that doesn't mean in any way that he is universally loved amongst his peers and fans. On the contrary, it is the other way, as "The King" is by far the most hated player in the NBA, especially amongst fans. But it seems even players today don't shy away from coming at LeBron on the court and verbally.
The "Hollywood Drama" between the Lakers and the Suns
The Lakers-Suns game the other night was a really interesting game with numerous exciting things happening, but most of them were not related to on-court stuff and basketball. While the Suns beat the breaks off the Lakers in the playoffs rematch, Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard got into it at the bench; Rondo got into it with a fan, and LeBron decided to stop playing mid-game.
But one of the most notable moments that got some buzz around the league was a video of LeBron James trash-talking Cameron Payne from the bench, basically telling him to calm down his talk considering he was out of the league not so long ago. Pretty savage stuff.
Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe react; LeBron gets no respect?
Obviously, this eventful game got a lot of reactions from around the league, as the star-studded Lakers roster is really under the microscope this year, considering the expectations put on them. The most notorious LeBron James hater and fan, in Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe, reacted to the situation on Undisputed and shared some interesting takes.
Shannon was outraged with the fact young players don't respect the older players anymore, as that has become more normal to see in today's NBA.
"Cam Payne, you outta line. That's the GOAT you talkin' to."Sharpe said.
The young guns are coming into the league hot and full of confidence, as they are trying to de-throne the stars of today from the jump. It is great to see young players show no fear, but you have to find the balance between competitiveness and disrespect. Skip managed to bring MJ into the conversation and share another reason why LeBron is not on his level:
"It just shows you. Cameron Payne, they don't respect LeBron. Nobody did that to Michael Jordan. Nobody would've dared say that to Jordan...Back in the day, Michael Jordan would've just chuckled that if he had been on the bench, and he would have pointed and said: 'I got you next time.' And next time, they would've come out, and Michael would've been on Cameron Payne soon as he came into the game and stolen it from him four times."
Skip Bayless, Undisputed on FS1
What else can you expect from Skip Bayless on any topic regarding LeBron James? But to be honest, this is one of his rare takes I agree on. The level of respect Michael Jordan had back in the day from fans and other players is non-comparable to LeBron's s. Sure, some players tried to trash-talk MJ, but there weren't many as those who did regretted their decisions quickly.
On the other end, LeBron might be a force on the court, but a lot of his actions and moments throughout his career made players lose respect for him. So that way, young stars coming up have the confidence to go at him without any fear. Even an average player like Cameron Payne, who has managed to find his spot in the NBA world after struggling for a couple of years, has no problem going at "The King." That speaks volumes about the disparity in the level of respect between LeBron and MJ.