Hall of Fame center Shaquille O'Neal said his Los Angeles Lakers team that won three consecutive titles in the early 2000s would "easily beat" the modern-era Golden State Warriors, a team trying to become the first to three-peat since the Lakers did so from 2000-02.
"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."
That team O'Neal referenced was the 2000-01 Lakers squad that nearly went perfect in the postseason if it weren't for an Iverson-inspired 76ers upset in Game 1 of the Finals. Iverson was MVP that season and scored 48 points before L.A. won the next four to claim the Larry O'Brien trophy.
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.
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