Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O'Neal is one of the greatest big men to have ever played this game. There's just no doubt about that. Right now, Sixers superstar Joel Embiid is arguably the top center in today's NBA as the All-Star big man hopes to reach the same heights Shaq did during his dominant stint in the league.

Now just imagine if these two played in the same era. What a matchup that would have been, right? Well, for former second overall pick turned ESPN broadcaster Jay Williams, this imaginary matchup wouldn't have been much of a contest. According to Williams, he firmly believes that the Lakers icon would stand no chance trying to guard Embiid:

“I think Shaq would have fits trying to guard him,” Williams said (h/t Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire). “Shaq wouldn’t be able to guard him. I would put him on the perimeter all day long.”

Live and breathe the NBA?

🚨 Get viral NBA graphics, memes, rumors and trending news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

Before we all go crazy about Williams' extremely hot take here, we have to read into the context of his bold claim. His main premise is that Embiid would feast in the perimeter if Shaq had to guard him. The Sixers star possesses an elite mid-range game worthy of matching up against any big in the history of the game. In Williams' mind, Shaq would have struggled mightily in trying to keep up with Embiid outside the paint.

Embiid trying to post up down low against O'Neal is an altogether different matter, though. Not to mention Embiid attempting to guard Shaq on the opposite side of the floor.

Williams' colleagues tried to reason with him. They reminded him of how much of an athlete Shaq was during his younger years. Williams acknowledged that fact but was still able to come back with a counterargument:

“I hear what you’re saying. He was an athlete but still, I know scouting reports back when he was a young Shaq when they would just string him out on the perimeter because he still had a hard time guarding pick-and-rolls. Joel Embiid don’t guard pick-and-rolls either. I’m saying I would put Joel Embiid in that situation.”

Lakers fans are not going to like what Jay Williams has to say here. In fact, most basketball fans in general will probably, at the very least, raise an eyebrow with this rather contentious claim.

Williams' hot take comes amid Shaq's recent criticism of Embiid and new-found partner-in-crime James Harden. Shaq wasn't exactly throwing shade at Embiid and Harden. However, he seemed to have taken offense at the comparisons being thrown between the Harden-Embiid combo and Shaq's own partnership with the late, great Kobe Bryant:

“No. No. Hell no,” Shaq firmly stated. “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–k no.”

O'Neal clearly thinks that there's just no way to justify any comparisons — at least not at this point. As of now, Embiid and Harden have just played five games as a duo (although they've won all of them). Shaq and Kobe, on the other hand, bagged three NBA titles for the Lakers. To even compare these two duos would be premature, to say the least. We're looking at you, Kendrick Perkins.

Then again, even Big Perk probably wouldn't have the gall to come out with such a bold statement against Shaq.