Shaquille O’Neal: 2001 Lakers Would Beat the 2016 Warriors

by June 08, 2016

A fresh round of old timers saying their legendary teams would beat today’s Golden State Warriors is upon us.

Shaquille O’Neal, speaking Monday night at a corporate gig alongside his former coach Phil Jackson, declared that the 2000-01 Los Angeles Lakers would have no problem handling the current defending NBA champions regardless of the rules of engagement.

The ’01 Lakers, a criminally under-appreciated squad in League history, lost just once during their Playoff run en route to a second consecutive title.

Per the AP:

The Warriors’ 73 victories broke the Bulls’ 1996 record, but O’Neal said his 2001 Lakers would have beaten them.

That team set an NBA record by going 15-1 in the postseason for the second of three straight championships under Jackson, back when O’Neal could be an even bigger physical force before rules changes loosened the game for free-flowing offenses like Golden State’s to thrive.

“If you’re using those rules, we’d win. Now we use these rules these days, we’d still win, because you wouldn’t be allowed to touch me, you wouldn’t be allowed to touch Kobe (Bryant),” O’Neal said. “So yeah, that’s how I always look at it.”

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