‘As soon as the door closes’: Skip Bayless justifies supporting OKC Thunder despite harrowing experiences and ‘death threats’

The Oklahoma City Thunder got their first taste of the NBA Finals in 2012 when a young ‘Big Three’ took on an experienced ‘Big Three’ from the Miami Heat. OKC lost the finals in five games, giving way to critics. Despite being from Oklahoma City, veteran NBA analyst Skip Bayless was also among the critics, slamming the team led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. As a result of his continued criticism, the city of Oklahoma decided to take matters into its own hands.

The OKC squad blew past everyone in the West to finish as number one this year, leading one fan to question Skip Bayless’ love and loyalty towards his home team. The Skip Bayless Show.

A question of where his loyalties lay: Bayless took a trip down memory lane when he had to be escorted by a bodyguard during the 2012 NBA Finals due to constant death threats from Thunder fans.

“When our First Take team took our show to the 2012 Finals for the first time ever, starting in Oklahoma City, I had a bodyguard in my hometown because Thunder fans had sent me so many death threats. How could I advocate for that team?”

Bayless even shared an incident he had to endure when two middle-aged women berated him in the elevator of his hotel for his disapproving views of Thunder’s star point guard, Russell Westbrook, despite the analyst being escorted to and from his hotel to the arena, and so on. .

“As I walked into the elevator, two middle-aged women walked behind me… And as soon as the door closed, they approached me. They bombarded me with scathing criticism of my criticism of Westbrook, all the way to the seventh floor.”

At first, it seemed like Bayless was justifying his reasons for not rooting for the Oklahoma City Thunder. But the veteran NBA analyst went on to reveal that he was indeed in favor of this OKC team, despite the death threats and confrontation with those two middle-aged women.

Skip said the Thunder are a fun team to watch, but still pose a real threat this year. And while the team is made up of a group of young players without much playoff experience, the 72-year-old certainly seemed confident in this Oklahoma City squad.

Skip Bayless vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder

Being an Oklahoma native and still not having a soft spot for the Oklahoma City Thunder is something only Skip Bayless can do. But that’s what the Undisputed host is known for; his harsh view on live television.

"As soon as the door closes": Skip Bayless Justifies Supporting OKC Thunder Despite Harrowing Experiences and 'Death Threats'
Credit: USA Today Sports

Now you would assume that receiving death threats is a good sign to stop doing whatever you were doing; but not Bayless. The TV persona seemed to have ice in his veins or just a death wish.

In 2016, Skip Bayless left with the Thunder and expressed utter disbelief in the team when they faced the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. And this time it was the Oklahoma City school system that decided to strike back with this post on X. (formerly Twitter)

“Hey, @espn, please remind @RealSkipBayless that we taught him better than this. #Thunder #NBAplayoffs #NWClassenHS”

A brutal response from a state’s education reform system. Luckily, Thunder fans finally have Bayless on board after more than a decade of laughing together.