Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal seems to have an affinity for sharing his thoughts about hypothetical five-man matchups that involve current and retired stars.
If folks sense a pattern with O’Neal’s answers, that’s because he appears to always choose the side that has him. But for a recent hypothetical, he might have hesitated a bit before ultimately giving his team the vote.
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In the hypothetical matchup, the team of legends features three Lakers icons, including O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson. Rounding out the crew are two of the best ever to play their respective positions in Michael Jordan and Larry Bird.
As for the opposing team, it features some of the finest players of this generation, including Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic.
Of course, there’s no way of knowing which team would come out as the victor. But the idea of O’Neal and Jokic duking it out on the court makes for an intriguing storyline.
During O’Neal’s heyday, only a few players were able to say that they stopped or limited the big guy, and the Denver Nuggets superstar might struggle defensively to keep the four-time champion from wreaking havoc inside the paint.
A couple of other debates could also emerge from the post O’Neal shared to Instagram, namely ones surrounding the matchups between Jordan and James and Johnson and Curry.
For some folks, talks about the greatest player of all time (G.O.A.T.) boil down to Jordan and James, even though the 38-year-old is still not done adding to his already padded Hall of Fame resume.
In addition, Curry recently stirred the pot by choosing himself as the greatest point guard of all time over Johnson. That elicited a response from the Lakers icon, who pointed to his Finals MVPs and other accolades to shut down the G.O.A.T. point guard debate.
The 2023-24 NBA regular season is about to commence, so fans can finally enjoy watching real games and put imaginary matches on the shelf soon. The Lakers will kick off their campaign against the Nuggets on Tuesday.