NBA Legend Shaquille O’Neal Talks About 2001 Lakers’ Chances Against Warriors And LeBron-Jordan Comparison

Lakers legend Shaquille O'Neal is very confident that his team can easily beat the Golden State Warriors.

Lakers legends Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, and Phil Jackson
Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

Lakers legend Shaquille O'Neal is very confident that his team can easily beat the Golden State Warriors.

The Golden State Warriors have succeeded to build a dynasty after winning their third NBA championship title in four years. Despite the improvements made by several NBA teams, the Warriors remain as the heavy favorite to take home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2018-19 NBA season.

As of now, it’s hard to imagine a team who can beat the star-studded Warriors in a best-of-seven series. After winning back-to-back NBA championship titles, the Warriors didn’t only retain their core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green, but they also managed to upgrade their roster with the acquisition of All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins in the recent free agency. Though Cousins is still recovering from an injury, he is expected to be back in perfect shape when the real battle begins in the Western Conference Playoffs.

Count NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal out to the list of people who think that the Warriors are unbeatable. In a phone interview with Scott Gleeson of USA Today Sports, O’Neal said that his Lakers team that won three consecutive NBA championship titles from 2000 to 2002 can “easily win” against the Warriors.

“I think we’d easily win,” O’Neal said. “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.”

It’s easy to understand why Shaquille O’Neal is very confident about their chances against the Warriors. If they face each other on the court, no one on the Warriors’ roster, even a healthy DeMarcus Cousins, can stop O’Neal from dominating under the basket. In his interview with USA Today Sports, O’Neal also responded to Allen Iverson’s claim that Lakers superstar LeBron James isn’t on the level of Michael Jordan when it comes to the debate on the greatest NBA player of all-time.

Shaquille O’Neal said that it’s hard to make comparisons between LeBron James and Michael Jordan since they came from two different eras. O’Neal thinks that the game has gone less physical as the time goes by. However, when talking about the numbers, O’Neal believes that James isn’t far from Jordan.

“We’re talking about two different eras. Jordan averaged 30 points when people could beat you up. The game was more physical,” O’Neal said. “Numbers-wise, yeah, I guess you could say he’s up there with Jordan.”