Shaquille O’Neal created quite a heated debate among basketball fans recently. Shaq claims a squad made up of the greatest Los Angeles Lakers including Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Elgin Baylor, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and himself would crush the best the Chicago Bulls had to offer.
The Bulls five-man team would consist of Derrick Rose, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant and Dennis Rodman. Pippen came out defended his Bulls basically downplaying hypothetic scenarios like these. O’Neal fired back and created a war between the two on social media.
Until now, Jordan has stayed quiet about this heated debate. Jordan was asked about his thoughts on the subject during a Q&A session at Michael Jordan Flight School camp in Santa Barbara, via Patrick Dorsey of ESPN:
What did I think about when Shaq said that the all-time five of the greatest Lakers could beat the Bulls’ five greatest players?
“I just felt like he was just talking. It’s a debate. The thing is that we would never know. I think we would have killed them. He thinks they would have killed us. You guys decide. It’s just a debate.”
The debate will rage on and will likely spawn other heated debates with other all-time great players from one franchise taking on another. Although these kind of debates involving retired players create a lot of discussion with passionate fans and players going at one another, there’s no way to ever know the outcome, but a potential outcome was simulated regardless.
Bleacher Report recently put together the two all-time great rosters for the Lakers and Bulls to see what would happen:
Ultimately, the Lakers came out on top by nine points in the simulation, 124-115. Los Angeles may have gotten the win, but it was nowhere near Shaq’s projection of a crushing 50-point victory.[divide]