While many people doubted that the Golden State Warriors could win the championship heading to the 2022 NBA Finals, Shaquille O’Neal was apparently among the few who believed in them.
In an interview with Marca, O’Neal revealed as much and noted how he always viewed the Warriors as the favorites to win the Larry O’Brien trophy. The NBA icon also emphasized that the Dubs did everything he expected of them in the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics.
“For me, the Warriors were the big favorites to win the title. There was no doubt in my mind. Everything went as I expected before the games started. They didn’t let me down and did their job very well,” Shaq shared.
Indeed, while the Warriors dominated the competition in the Western Conference Playoffs this past season, many thought that the Celtics were too much for them. Not only did Jayson Tatum outshine Kevin Durant and establish himself as a true superstar, but the Celtics’ defense also made a lot of people believe they were primed to win the championship.
The Celtics did make life hard for the Warriors at first, even getting a 2-1 lead. However, as soon as Golden State figured them out, they were no match to the experienced core of the team. The Dubs won three straight to close out the series and secure their fourth title in eight years.
It remains to be seen if the Warriors can replicate that success come 2022-23, but if you’re going to ask Shaquille O’Neal, it’s better not to count them out just yet. Besides, Shaq believes the reigning champions has the “biggest problem” in the NBA today in Stephen Curry.