ESPN Analyst Richard Jefferson explains why he picks Shaquille O’Neal and the ’01 Lakers over Draymond Green and 2017 Warriors
Since the start of the new millennia, the NBA has seen multiple teams that have had the potential to dominate the whole league. However, not all of those teams lived up to their potential. Nevertheless, we saw two very dominant teams during this period. We had the 2001-2003 Lakers, that went on to three-peat. With Shaquille O’Neal at the helm and Kobe Bryant along with him, this team was an unstoppable force.
Another dominant team was the 2016-2019 Warriors. They had stars such as Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green at the core. The Warriors won two rings in a row, and would have three-peat, had it not been for the injuries. There have often been debates about which team was better. Richard Jefferson, having played against both these teams, recently came and gave his two cents.
Richard Jefferson explains why he picked the ’01 Lakers over the ’17 Warriors
Drafted in 2001, Richard Jefferson was in the NBA till 2018. During that time, he has played against the three-peat Lakers, the LeBron James Miami Heat, and the Kevin Durant Golden State Warriors. However, Jefferson picks the ’01 Lakers to be the toughest among them all.
In the recent edition of ‘Road Trippin’, he explained why he picked the Lakers.
“The second-best team I ever played against truly played against or faced was the 17 Warriors. Steph, Klay, KD, Draymond that team there was no there was no formula for that. I don’t care, you almost needed like a USA Basketball team today simple to beat them. That’s not not an exaggeration.”
“But the best team was the 2001 Lakers…. I know Steph gets all the credit for changing the game but why Shaq was different. Shaq forced you to carry three extra big or two extra big men on your roster.”
— LakeShow (@LakeShowCP) August 30, 2021
He continued and explained that despite having a defensive genius like Draymond Green, the Warriors don’t stand a chance. The reason behind the same: Shaquille O’Neal.
“You were going to have to keep a big man and multiple big men on the floor. Because Shaquille O’Neal, as much as I love Draymond, Draymond was not doing anything against prime Shaq.”
While Shaq would have been an issue, I’m sure, the Lakers would have their own troubles slowing down KD and Steph.