Shaquille O'Neal won't back down from this debate.
The Hall of Fame center is 100 percent convinced his three-peat Los Angeles Lakers were better than the Steph Curry and Kevin Durant-led Warriors.
Shaq has made it clear over the last two years that he believes the 1999 through 2002 championship Lakers would have easily beaten the 2016 through 2019 Warriors in a hypothetical matchup.
The Diesel even claimed that the Warriors wouldn't have been a contender during the Lakers' dominant run.
But in an interview with Maxim Magazine published Tuesday, Shaq said the Lakers starters would have won every 1-on-1 matchup with the Warriors.
Brace yourselves, Warriors fans.
"I have a hard time believing that the greatest coach of all time (Phil Jackson), plus me and Kobe [Bryant], wouldn’t match up quite nicely against Steve Kerr and his gang," Shaq said. "Kobe takes Steph and dominates him. [Derek] Fisher takes Klay and manhandles him. [Rick] Fox takes Draymond and makes him foul out in the first half. Horace [Grant] would do his thing with K.D. But let’s be real, K.D., is a beast, and you can only do so much with him. And then I’d remind [Zaza] Pachulia why I am in the Hall of Fame and he is not."
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Where do we even begin?
Yes, Kobe was an elite defender, but Curry is a generational talent. He would not have been dominated by Bryant. Steph against a prime Kobe would have been must-see TV, but it wouldn't have been as one-sided as Shaq believes.
If Shaq thinks Klay would be manhandled by anyone, let alone Fisher, he hasn't watched the Warriors shooting guard enough. Thompson has five inches on Fisher and would just shoot right over him.
If Fox tried to bully Draymond, the Warriors forward would pull a Doug Christie and sock him in the jaw. Draymond's motor would give him the edge in that matchup.
Durant would get his against Grant or any other defender the Lakers threw at him. You know who he is. He's Kevin Durant.
The only matchup the Lakers win hands down is Shaq vs. Zaza. Sorry, Zaza.
Shaq's Lakers were able to do something the Warriors weren't able to do: Three-peat. But Golden State very likely would have accomplished the feat if Durant and Thompson had been healthy for the entirety of the 2019 NBA Finals.
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Yes, Shaq has every right to defend his Lakers teams, but to say they would completely dominate those Warriors teams is a bit far-fetched. Before Durant arrived, the Warriors won 73 games. After he signed, they steamrolled the league on their way to back-to-back NBA titles, and could have three-peated.
This debate will never be settled, but one thing is for sure. Shaq won't let it go.