Shaquille O’Neal claims that he would be the difference maker in a game between the Lakers 3-peat squad and the Bulls 3-peat squad.
The common denominator between both the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers championship squads from the 90s and 2000s is Phil Jackson. If a hypothetical bout would ensue between say, the 1996 Bulls and Shaquille O’Neal and his early 2000s Lakers, the battle to see who would have the ‘Zen Master’ on their side would be the first rule of order.
Of course, Michael Jordan’s Bulls had much more success than the purple and gold did with the Shaq-Kobe tandem, with the former winning 6 titles in 8 years and the latter having just one 3-peat to their belt. Kobe Bryant has always said however, that if Shaquille O’Neal had his work ethic, they would’ve won double digit titles. This is an exaggeration but they most certainly would’ve won more than just 3.
While on the ‘Rich Eisen Show’, Shaq talked about what it was like being coached by Phil Jackson and talking about Jackson, led to the aforementioned hypothetical question.
Shaquille O’Neal on who would win in a game between the 3-peat Bulls and the 3-peat Lakers.
The 1996 Chicago Bulls are widely viewed as the greatest team in the history of league. However, people have begun to argue that from a pure talent standpoint, teams like the ‘17 Warriors and the ‘01 Lakers have them beat. Rich Eisen asked Shaquille O’Neal what he thought would happen if his Lakers went up against Jordan’s Bulls and this is what he had to say to that:
“The main factor is, who’s going to guard me? I’m the difference maker. Who’s going to guard me? Wennington? Purdue? Rodman? Cartwright?”
Quite literally the way to guard Shaquille O’Neal for about 15 straight seasons was to foul him a.k.a, ‘Hack-a-Shaq’. He addresses this too and says he would bet on himself to shoot a decent percentage from the charity tripe if the Bulls were to resort to ’Hack-a-Shaq’ techniques downlow.
Also read: “Markieff Morris is likely to make his return when the Miami Heat host Nikola Jokic and co”: The veteran forward hasn’t played a game since the neck injury he suffered at the hands of the Joker