O’Neal’s dominance paired with Bryant’s emergence as the heir to Michael Jordan paved the way for their three-peat from the 2000-02 NBA season. Their four NBA Finals appearances in eight seasons together would officially etch out their place as the league’s next premier dynasty.
Naturally, their stellar run has gone through its fair share of comparisons to some of the other notable dynasties the league has witnessed. Among the notable ones that have been a topic of debate are the 1990s Chicago Bulls that were led by Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
O’Neal did not waste any time when asked about which team would emerge as the victor, via SportsCenter:
Shaq: "Of course. Yes. Easily." pic.twitter.com/w5DL2hGGRT
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 16, 2020
The answer from O’Neal hardly comes as a surprise considering he has never been shy about expressing his opinion, especially on matters that pertain to him. Although the prospect of dismissing any team led by Jordan so easily may seem far-fetched, he certainly has good reason to be confident.
After all, O’Neal had already found a way to beat Jordan when the Orlando Magic defeated the Bulls during the 1995 NBA playoffs in six games. He proved to be quite the problem for them after averaging 24.3 points, 13.2 boards, and 4.0 assists while shooting 65.1 percent from the free-throw line.
While Jordan is widely considered as the undisputed greatest player of all time, the Lakers still match up rather well with Bryant lined up across from him. The X-factor — as O’Neal likes to point out — will be which player is ultimately tasked with guarding him down low and history proves the Bulls do not have very many options.
O’Neal acknowledged that head coach Phil Jackson would undoubtedly utilize the Hack-a-Shaq method, thus forcing him to convert on more than half of his free-throws in order to secure the win. Of course, this only serves to add even more fuel to the fire for this hypothetical series between two of the NBA’s greatest dynasties.