‘We’d Easily Win’: Shaquille O’Neal Says the ’01 Lakers Would Beat Golden State

by December 12, 2018

Shaquille O’Neal says the 2001 Los Angeles Lakers would “easily” beat today’s Golden State Warriors.

O’Neal makes the case for his own title-winning squad, citing their legendary 15-1 run through the postseason.

Shaq adds that LeBron James is “up there” with Michael Jordan, and claims he’d personally average 45 points a night if he were playing in the current NBA.

Per USA Today:

“I think we’d easily win,” O’Neal told USA TODAY Sports by phone when asked which team was better. “Other people might feel different, they (the Warriors) might feel different. But we had one of the best teams of all-time in 2001 when we went 15-1 in the playoffs. We would’ve gone 16-0 but A.I. (Hall of famer Allen Iverson) went off on us and stepped over (former Laker) Ty Lue.”

Iverson recently said that while Lakers star LeBron James is the best of his generation, he doesn’t compare to Michael Jordan when debating the greatest of all-time. O’Neal beat Jordan’s Chicago Bulls in the 1995 playoffs with the Orlando Magic and was James’ teammate briefly with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2009-10) in the twilight of his career. He said comparing the two is difficult to do.

“We’re talking about two different eras,” O’Neal said. “Jordan averaged 30 points when people could beat you up. The game was more physical. In this era, I’d average 45 (points a game) without free throws. Jordan ruled the 90s. Me and Kobe [Bryant] did the 2000s and LeBron’s doing his thing now.

“Numbers-wise, yeah, I guess you could say he’s up there with Jordan.”

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