Stephen Curry says Shaquille O’Neal is ‘dead wrong’ thinking his Lakers could beat Warriors
Stephen Curry vehemently disagreed with Shaquille O’Neal’s take that his early 2000s Los Angeles Lakers would “easily” beat the Golden State Warriors of today. As expected, Shaq took himself and his squad when prompted with the comparison, despite trying to give fair respect to the back-to-back champs.
“Oh, he’s dead wrong,” Curry said of O’Neal’s take prior to a 20-point home loss to the Toronto Raptors, according to ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “Of course. We’d beat them. We can go back-and-forth all day.”
Curry later explained it’s a tough parallel to make, given how the game was played — and it is — just not enough to let it fly without some pushback from the two-time MVP.
“For me, I think it’s a tough conversation because I’ve always found it hard to compare eras to each other,” Curry added. “But in terms of having three banners up there and create parallels and comparisons to how they dominated the league through their run to what we’re doing now, I think that speaks a lot on its own. Just in terms of us accomplishing the goal and fulfilling the potential that we have.”
Naturally, Shaq thinks the Warriors’ small-ball rotation would be cooked like barbecue chicken, having not only accomplished the last three-peat in league history (2000-02) but also dominated the league and put a stronghold in the always tough Western Conference.
Curry expressed hopefulness that both teams would be appreciated for their individual accomplishments in their own unique ways down the road, but that comparison is unlikely to take place many years later unless the Warriors can secure a three-peat at the end of this season.
“And we’re still in the middle of it so – I laugh sometimes, I saw Shaq today talked about his three-peat championship team would have destroyed us for whatever reason,” said Curry. “All those conversations are just entertaining because (1) who knows? (2) the game is so different. Teams that dominated their respective eras need to be left alone in terms of what that means. Hopefully that’s how they’ll approach us when they talk about us 20, 30 years from now looking back.”
In the grand scope of things, both teams have their names in the history books and a unique legacy in the NBA — one that will be hard to scratch off, regardless of who comes out on top of this hypothetical battle of eras.