Although LeBron James and Anthony Davis are still in the early stages of playing together, there has been plenty of speculation regarding how they stack up against some of the other all-time duos in Los Angeles Lakers history.
While there is no shortage of notable pairings, this idea started to gain some steam once a picture of James and Davis going up against Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant began to circulate on social media. There has since been plenty of debate regarding which team would come out on top.
The prospect of this star-studded matchup was brought about a number of factors that will need to be considered. O’Neal has since made it clear there is only one that matters.
O’Neal was rather confident during a recent appearance on Fallon Tonight that he would be the X-factor that led to a win for him and Bryant:
— Fallon Tonight (@FallonTonight) January 7, 2020
O’Neal has never been shy about reminding fans just how dominant he was back in the day. As a result, it should come as no surprise to see that his confidence has not wavered despite how well James and Davis have meshed early on.
It is safe to say that O’Neal has good reason to be considering the edge he holds in this type of matchup. The endless debate between Bryant and James will continue to be based on opinion, but there is no denying the fact that Davis would have a difficult time carrying his weight in the paint against such a formidable opponent.
It would be difficult to argue there was any player in NBA history more gifted than O’Neal from a physical standpoint since he boasted uncanny athleticism on top of his tremendous stature. As talented as Davis is, there would be little he could do in a situation where he is forced to guard him one-on-one in the paint most of the time.
Of course, this is all up for speculation as noted by O’Neal and there will never truly be a way of knowing how this showdown would pan out.
Regardless, this question may need to be revisited one day if James and Davis are able to enjoy the level of success O’Neal and Bryant once did.