Video: Skip Bayless Dives Deeply Into ‘Heated’ Conversation He Had With Damian Lillard

Jonathan Sherman
4 Min Read
Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard has been on an absolute tear inside the NBA’s bubble, but he hasn’t done enough to impress polarizing sports pundit Skip Bayless.

Earlier this week, Bayless explained why he isn’t buying into Lillard being one of the more clutch stars in the NBA. Lillard responded with a pointed attack.

Now, Bayless has continued the drama by delving into a heated conversation he had with Lillard earlier this year.

Bayless began by saying that Lillard had been asking for Bayless’ number after he had been critical of the Blazers guard in an episode of “Undisputed.” Of course, Bayless was happy to talk.

“Within a few minutes I get a scathing text from Damian Lillard saying, ‘What have you done to challenge what I have done?'” Bayless said. “Well let’s talk about that, and I don’t want to text talk about it, I want to talk talk about it, and if I could talk face to face I would have done that at that moment. Within five seconds of me reading that text, I just hit the little dial sign and it rang his phone.”

Bayless then went into how the subsequent phone call went.

“So, I called him and right off the top I tried to be civil with him, though he was clearly pretty agitated and angry with me,” he said. “The first thing I explained to him was, yeah I got really worked up. I was scathing in my commentary to you because we were in the middle of a pandemic, and I was starting to wonder if we were even going to be able to have this network sustain itself into the fall. … I was still dubious and highly doubtful about basketball in the bubble with the NBA.”

Bayless then said that he reiterated his question to Lillard about why he thinks he deserves to be considered one of the most notable players in the NBA.

“And he said, ‘Well since I came into the league I’ve been one of the clutchest players in the league,’ blah blah blah,” Bayless said. “We go back and forth, on and on, and I hung right in there with him and it started to get heated.”

Bayless then asked Lillard about losing in a four-game sweep against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals last year.

Bayless went on to list Lillard’s record in the playoffs, making it clear that Lillard has actually struggled on the big stage.

“Since Damian Lillard entered this league, he has the worst postseason winning percentage in all of the NBA,” he said. “That is 37 percent, he’s 19-32 in these games. Is that all his fault? Absolutely not. But is he a transcendent, king of the NBA kind of player? I’m sorry I haven’t seen it yet.”

Bayless finally said that the conversation ended in a cold manner. He added that he later found that Lillard thought that the phone conversation meant that Bayless would not criticize him going forward.

Bayless made it clear through his story that that is very far from the truth.

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Jonathan has worked as a sports writer covering NBA and NFL news since 2017. He's a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Vikings.