O’Neal spoke to Anthony “Spice” Adams on The Big Podcast with Shaq, and he explained that Harden and Embiid are nowhere close to him and Bryant, as the Lakers duo won three out of four NBA Finals.
“No,” O’Neal said when asked if they are comparable. “No. Hell no. Not after one year. Me and Kobe had eight years of damage together. No, not even close. Stop it. Listen, no, hell no and f— no.”
Harden and Embiid haven’t even played 10 games together, so it makes sense that O’Neal is pumping the brakes on comparing them to him and Braynt.
O’Neal and Bryant led one of the greatest runs in Lakers history together, and it culminated with three titles coming back to Los Angeles.
While Harden and Embiid have a ton of potential together, the Sixers still have to prove they can win playoff games with this duo before anyone starts talking about a title. Philadelphia is currently three games back of the Miami Heat for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
O’Neal and Bryant are both Hall of Famers, and O’Neal was dominant in his eight seasons with Los Angeles. Over that stretch, O’Neal averaged 27.0 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. While he and Bryant didn’t play their entire careers together, Bryant stayed in Los Angeles and brought two more titles back to the Lakers franchise.
For his career, Bryant averaged 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game while shooting 44.7 percent from the field and 32.9 percent from beyond the arc.
It’s possible Embiid and Harden find similar success in their time together, but they will have to start by winning one title before they can even hold a candle to the three that Bryant and O’Neal won together.