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Shaquille O’Neal unveils his ‘unbeatable’ 5-man lineup featuring 3 Lakers

Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Lakers

Former Los Angeles Lakers great Shaquille O’Neal knows has a new all-time starting five if he has to win a playoff series.

Not surprisingly, he leaned heavily into the purple and gold.

The Hall of Famer re-posted an image of hoop icons Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, LeBron James (in Los Angeles Lakers garb), and, of course, himself.

“I don’t care what none of y’all saying. Ain’t nobody beatin this team in a seven game series,” the Diesel wrote, in a post from November that was re-shared by SportsCenter’s Instagram account.

 

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It’s hard to argue with O’Neal’s choices. That hypothetical lineup features heavy doses of scoring, defense, size, and athleticism, and features arguably the two best players in NBA history, along with Shaq, Kobe, and another first-ballot Hall of Famer in AI. O’Neal made sure to include three Lakers in the group.

Iverson is not a true point guard, but LeBron could play point-forward and orchestrate if need be. Obviously, any of the four non-Shaq members of the lineup could be trusted to hit a jumper with the game on the line.

The five (or four, considering Iverson never won a title) legends combined for 19 NBA titles.

O’Neal’s all-time starting five has changed over the years.

In Sept. 2016, he modestly left himself off his ideal lineup of NBA greats. In that case, he went with Magic Johnson at the point, Jordan at shooting guard, Julius Erving at the three, Karl Malone in the power forward spot, and 11-time champion Bill Russell at center.

Dr. J and Russell (along with Isiah Thomas and Alonzo Mourning) inducted O’Neal into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016.

The Big Aristotle updated his all-time lineup once again in April 2019 during an appearance on NBC’s “Today.” For that iteration, O’Neal, who won three titles with the Lakers, swapped out Magic Johnson, Erving, and Russell in favor of Bryant, Larry Bird, and Hakeem Olajuwon.