Kobe Bryant Would Take 2001 Lakers Against Any Team In NBA History
Kobe Bryant, Shaquile O'Neal, Lakers
Andrew D. Bernstein-Getty Images

With the Golden State Warriors winning their third championship in four seasons, the talk has begun about where they rank amongst the greatest teams in NBA history. That means putting them up against the likes of the Bill Russell-led Celtics, Showtime Lakers, 1980s Celtics, 1990s Bulls, and the early 2000s Lakers led by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.

The 2001 edition of the Lakers is viewed as the best team of that era, sweeping through the Western Conference and losing just one game in their entire playoff run. Though the Kobe-Shaq era only lasted a couple more years after, many still consider the duo the greatest of all-time.

Bryant recently appeared on The HoopsHype Podcast with Alex Kennedy and while he stopped short of calling he and Shaq the NBA’s greatest duo, he was willing to go out on a limb for that ’01 squad:

“Well, look, I’ll take that ’01 team that we had against anybody in history of the game. Any team.”

The ironic thing about the 2001 Lakers is that they actually won the fewest regular season games of the three-peat teams. But just before the playoffs started, they flipped the switch and reached a level that very few teams have ever been at.

Bryant and O’Neal obviously led the way, but this team was full of outstanding role players to fill in all the cracks. Derek Fisher, Robert Horry, Rick Fox, Horace Grant, Brian Shaw, and Ron Harper all added something important to the team.

Where this team stacks up against the Warriors and the rest of the greatest teams in NBA’s history is anyone’s guess. But as Bryant said, with he and O’Neal at the forefront, they have a shot against anyone.

As part of our efforts to help you understand how we handle the personal information you share with us, and in preparation for the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), we’ve updated our Privacy & Cookies Policy. The updated Privacy & Cookies Policy will take effect on May 22, 2018. By using our services on or after that date, you’ll be agreeing to our updated Privacy & Cookies Policy. We recommend that you read our updated Privacy & Cookies Policy in full.

You May Also Like

Phil Handy: Lakers Must ‘Figure Out’ How To Play With Each Other & Sacrifice

As it currently stands, the Los Angeles Lakers are viewed as one of the biggest championship favorites in the NBA along with…

Ronny Turiaf Expresses ‘Gratitude’ Toward Lakers Paying For His Heart Surgery

Ronny Turiaf was never a major player for the Los Angeles Lakers,…

Lakers News: Kobe Wants To Be Informed Of Any Trade Deadline Deal

With the NBA trade deadline approaching this Thursday, there are sure to…

Vin Scully vs. Chick Hearn

Los Angeles fans have long been spoiled in the world of sports,…