Shaquille O’Neal names his candidate for greatest team ever

Los Angeles Lakers Unveil Shaquille O'Neal Statue

Shaquille O’Neal has had a busy year so far in 2017. Earlier this season he had an extended beef with Javale McGee of the Golden State Warriors which saw Kevin Durant come to his teammates’ aid after both sides traded barbs on Twitter.

Then, he saw a statue of his likeness mounted outside of the Staples Center to honor his time with the franchise and the three championships he won while with the Los Angeles Lakers. During that ceremony, he also got a chance to reconnect with his former teammate Kobe Bryant.

Being back in L.A. and seeing the Black Mamba and Phil Jackson must have left The Diesel in a reflective mood. After all, the city has not seen heights like those since the days of a much lighter O’Neal storming down the lane and dunking on defenders.

This week he was asked about the greatest team of all-time while on the TNT set with Ernie Johnson Jr, Kenny “The Jet” Smith and Charles Barkley. Most would respond to that question with the 1996 Chicago Bulls team featuring Michael Jordan, but Shaq had other ideas.

He said: “Derek Fisher and I went 15-1 in the Finals. That’s the best team ever. You heard it here first. Write it down, take a picture, fax it, put it on your DVD. That’s the best championship team ever.”

It is worth noting that those Los Angeles squads won 56 games during their regular season, which is a great number, but the 1996 Bulls and 2016 Warriors both won over 70 games. Now, Chicago would go on to bring home the trophy, while Golden State did not.

Superman’s larger point rests on their record in the postseason as the Lakers only lost one game in their title run. That single game being at the hands of Allen Iverson in one of the most impressive displays in NBA Finals history as he scored 48 points to stun the home team in L.A.

Jordan’s team lost two more games during their run and while that may not matter to some, it clearly matters to O’Neal when having this conversation. He also has the bolstered case of having two sure-fire NBA Hall of Famers on his squad in himself and Kobe Bryant.

This is an example of a debate with no end as many good teams are left behind in this discussion and there is no way for each squad to suit up and take on the retired stars of yesteryear. Fortunately, older stars like Shaq will continue to push the debate as long as they can.

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