LeBron James missed the playoffs entirely for only the second time in the last 16 years this past season, an utterly astounding sentence to write. Yet the all-time great faces louder criticism than he has in a long time, mostly due to the manner in which the Los Angeles Lakers stumbled down the stretch and failed to make the postseason. Everyone is eager to revel in the Lakers' downfall, and the spectacular crash-and-burn that took place entirely in the public eye didn't help matters. And LeBron has always been a magnet for negativity. It comes with the territory of occupying the rarefied air he has for so long.
This helps explain how we find ourselves at this point in time, writing about an Undisputed segment in which Skip Bayless, in complete seriousness, criticized The King for the vacation he's on during the playoffs. Specifically, Bayless thinks it's a bad look for LeBron to be posting while in the Maldives because it's rubbing in the fact that he's on the beach instead of the court.
The near-motherly concern Bayless had for how many glasses LeBron had already consumed is actually an excellent content idea. Get a video of one of your buddies on vacation after a couple cold ones and run the tape for their parents. Record the commentary. Profit. There are worse podcast concepts out there nowadays, so you're welcome for the free idea.
This is, however, a fascinating glimpse into how far Bayless will go to push his anti-LeBron agenda in pursuit of engagement and controversy. This is, after all, only the second time LeBron hasn't made a postseason appearance since Bayless debuted Undisputed and really began to hammer the forward on a daily basis. Usually there's plentiful content for the FOX Sports talking head around this time. Not so much when LeBron isn't there.
And it's something Bayless will have to get used to, given LeBron is nearing the end of his remarkable career. Then again, maybe Bayless will hang them up when LeBron does. It would be fitting.