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August 08, 2018

Skip Bayless, of all people, picks Sixers to make NBA Finals

NBA Sixers
050118-JoelEmbiid-USAToday Winslow Townson/USA Today

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid and guard Ben Simmons and guard JJ Redick react late in the fourth quarter of their 117-101 loss to the Boston Celtics in game one of the second round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden.

When Skip Bayless was still with ESPN doing battle on "First Take," it never made sense for him to be siding with Philadelphia teams, not when his adversary was Stephen A. Smith, an ex-Philly beat writer.

It also never made sense because his utter bias toward the Dallas Cowboys is an unconcealed part of the entertainment he provides. That team is never as good as his index finger thinks they will be, but he never learns. He stops at nothing to find reasons supporting the greatness of America's team. 

Consider this Bayless take: Nick Foles is better than Carson Wentz and should start for the Eagles. 

This is untrue. There hasn't been a whiff of controversy. Bayless just wants Philly weakened so that Dallas can succeed below expectations again. 

In Philadelphia, we've grown used to the talking heads tearing us down — everyone from Mike Lombardi dissing Doug Pederson to premiere hater Colin Howherd, who would eliminate Philly sports altogether, today, if he could pluck away Ben Simmons to the Lakers. 


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This afternoon, something different happened. More than three months before the start of the NBA season — and right after an injury to Sixers first round pick Zhaire Smith — Skip Bayless came out and picked Philadelphia to emerge from the Eastern Conference next season.

After an offseason many Sixers fans felt was embarrassing, lackluster and predictably marred by a rookie injury, it's nice to be reminded that the team has two of the league's best young players. They're a contender in the East simply by virtue of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid sharing the court, and LeBron James being gone. Skip Bayless has a vision. 

Does it matter that Shannon Sharpe and Stephen Jackson weren't buying Skip's argument? Nope. They can go ahead and take the Celtics, or even the Raptors, as their favorites in the East.

What we have on our hands now is an upcoming NBA season where Skip Bayless will defend this prediction to the point of irrationality, if need be. And if he just jinxed us into three-way head collision between Fultz, Simmons and Embiid, we'll know exactly who to blame. 


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