Skip Bayless clearly wants no part of seeing the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.
His former co-host on ESPN’s “First Take,” however, is a different story.
The Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Celtics on Friday to force an Eastern Conference Finals Game 7 on Sunday at TD Garden. After the LeBron James’ virtuoso performance, Stephen A. Smith joined “SportsCenter” and not only picked the Celtics to win Game 7, but also admitted he has no interest in seeing James and the Cavs in the NBA Finals.
“I have no desire to see the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Finals if all we’re going to see is the greatness of LeBron James while coupling that with the fact that nobody else steps up,” Smith said. ” … Aside from a Herculean effort from LeBron James that just overwhelms Boston, I just can’t see Boston losing this game … I actually want Boston to win. I do not want to see LeBron James in these Finals, with this team.
“Because all anybody’s gonna be talking about is how he carried this rat-pack bunch to the NBA Finals. And that’s going to be the storyline instead of the competitive matchup between two teams for a championship. … I want a competitive matchup, and I think Boston has a better shot of giving it to me than a team led by LeBron James right now, because these Cleveland Cavaliers have not been impressive.”
Smith probably is right. If James does lead the Cavs to the Finals, you can bet much of the talk will center around him winning despite his supporting cast, rather than on the actual basketball being played in the series.
One has to wonder, however, if that’s exactly what the NBA wants to see happen. Richard Sherman, for one, seems convinced the fix is in.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images