Skip Bayless on LeBron James free throws Photo credit: Undisputed

After LeBron James expressed frustration over a lack of free throws, Skip Bayless says the NBA superstar has only himself to blame.

LeBron’s Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Phoenix Suns Sunday afternoon 123-113, and the referees did them no favors. During the loss, Los Angeles attempted just eight free throws, four of them by LeBron. And while Skip Bayless admits LeBron deserved to get more foul calls throughout his career, he believes referees are waiting for the 21-year NBA veteran needs to learn how to make his free throws first.

“I’ve told you that he deserves more calls than he gets. But his free throw shooting is still so pathetic,” Bayless told Keyshawn Johnson of LeBron Monday morning on Undisputed. “The narrative is that you’re right at your career average from the free throw line, and it’s pathetic.”

Failing to see the correlation between missed free throws and a lack of opportunities to miss free throws, Johnson recalled Bayless once claiming LeBron doesn’t get respect from NBA refs because he doesn’t make enough shots from the line to earn that respect.

“That’s why he doesn’t get calls,” Bayless said to confirm his belief in the conspiracy. “Because they’re saying, ‘You’re a lousy free throw shooter.’

Stunned by his co-host’s conspiracy theory, Johnson said, “I can’t believe that you really believe this,” as Bayless continued to claim LeBron’s low free throw percentage is the reason why he doesn’t get more opportunities from the line.

“No, I know it,” Bayless insisted. “You don’t get calls because you’re a lousy free throw shooter…this has been going on for years and years.”

LeBron has endured a lot of contact throughout his career that didn’t draw a whistle. Some have claimed refs let defenders get away with more because LeBron is so big and strong, although that hasn’t stopped Giannis Antetokounmpo from getting to the line. But it’s absurd to claim referees don’t bother putting LeBron on the line because they think he won’t make the most of those free throw opportunities.

Bayless used James Harden as supporting evidence for his argument, citing the fact that he was shooting “90 percent from the free throw line” back when he used to “get every call.” Bayless, however, failed to note Shaquille O’Neal used to lead the league in free throw attempts despite his brutal shooting percentage from the line.

It was nice of Bayless to admit LeBron deserves to be the beneficiary of more foul calls. Predictably, it didn’t take long for the preeminent LeBron-hater to spin that admission into a knock against the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.


About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to