The discussion around the greatest NBA team has always been a fluid conversation. That is one that Golden State Warriors star forward Draymond Green strongly believes his team belongs at the top of the list. It also saw him take a shot at Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal when talking about how the Warriors would weigh up to the three-peat Los Angeles Lakers. That didn’t take long for O’Neal to fire back at Green in strong fashion.
Draymond Green says Shaq would have been destroyed in pick-and-roll
The Warriors star forward has never been bashful about his stances concerning his confidence about where his team ranks all-time.
That conversation recently came up during his interview on the All the Smoke podcast with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson. Green voiced that he believes that the Warriors’ championship team would have dominated opponents, including the O’Neal and Kobe Bryant led-Lakers that envisions the Hall of Fame big man struggling in pick-and-roll.
“We’re the greatest team ever. Me and curry would’ve f****n’ destroyed Shaq in a pick-and-roll,
Green’s premise is based on the Warriors ball-movement and utilizing the 3-point that would have been difficult for O’Neal to guard defensively. The former Lakers star was a dominant force in the paint, but the switches in situations against players that can stretch the floor could have changed the dynamic.
It didn’t take long for this discussion to make its way back around to O’Neal to give his two cents and banter back to Green.
Shaq fires back at Draymond Green
Green’s comments quickly moved there way around with plenty of reactions to his stance.
It was only a matter of time before O’Neal would give his taken on the entire hypothetical situation. During a recent episode on his The Big Podcast with Shaq, the Hall of Famer had a strong response by voicing that he believes that he would have dominated him down low in the paint. (H/T Essentially Sports)
Draymond what you got 3 rings? I’ll let that go. But again, it’s his opinion. I try not to get personal with people’s opinions. But however, Mr. Draymond, like you said, I would’ve torn your a** up on that block.”
During his heyday with the Lakers, O’Neal experienced the most dominant stretch of his career. That saw him win three NBA titles with an NBA Finals MVP award, won an MVP trophy, seven All-Star Game nods, and five All-NBA First Team selection over the span.
O’Neal was an absolute force on the low block that made him a matchup nightmare for every team. Green has proven to be a stout defender throughout his career, but he hasn’t faced any big man that has the opposing will, strength, and physical ability that the former Lakers great had.
How would it have played out?
The conversation presents an intriguing “what-if” scenario with two of the greatest teams that the league has had.
It would have been interesting to see their opposing playing styles face off against each other with all the star talent in the prime of their career. That said, there is no questioning that Green has proven to be a tremendous defender, but taking on O’Neal would have been an overwhelming task for him to deal with in the paint.
The Hall of Famer would not have only had his way in the paint, but he would have demanded a double team in every instance. That alone would have freed things up for Bryant to be a more significant factor.
There are many ways that this situation could play out, but it’s hard to go against the belief O’Neal wouldn’t dominate, especially in the prime of his career.