Tyronn Lue Says 2001 Lakers Are Greatest Team Of All-Time
Allen Iverson, Tyronn Lue, Sixers, Lakers, 76ers

When it comes to the argument for the greatest NBA teams of all-time, a handful of squads always get brought up. But more often than not, it boils down to the 1996 Chicago Bulls, the 2017 Golden State Warriors and the 2001 Los Angeles Lakers led by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.

That Lakers squad didn’t have the greatest regular season record but made sure to peak at the right time, sweeping through the entire Western Conference and losing just one game in the NBA Finals to the Philadelphia 76ers. Of course that game is forever remembered for Allen Iverson stepping over Tyronn Lue in overtime after knocking down a game-sealing shot.

But Lue was an integral part of that team and as far as he is concerned, those 2001 Lakers are the greatest team in NBA history, as he said on his appearance on the All the Smoke Podcast with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson:

“Yea, the greatest of all-time for sure. Nobody could beat that team.”

Lue would continue on explaining just why he believes that team was unbeatable. Namely that Shaq was so unguardable and would get teams in the bonus very quickly, which would then make it impossible to try and guard Kobe:

“I’m just basing it off of Shaq and Kob. People talk, you know Draymond go crazy. See the problem is, what they don’t understand is Shaq. You can double team, guard, SHAQ! Forget everything else like how are y’all gonna guard Shaq. That’s the biggest thing because now you’re in the bonus with six minutes to go in the quarter. Now Kobe gets loose you can’t touch him, now he’s going to the free throw line. So how are you gonna guard Shaq, that’s what people don’t understand. That was the greatest team of all-time to me, for sure. Any Kobe and Shaq team I don’t see how you can beat that team.”

It is something that doesn’t always get brought up when discussing what made these Lakers so tough to stop. Shaq isn’t just getting players in foul trouble, he’s putting the Lakers in the bonus which then affects how teams try to guard one of the greatest one-on-one scorers in NBA history.

Add to that an excellent supporting cast that included Derek Fisher, Rick Fox, Robert Horry, Horace Grant, Brian Shaw and Lue, and it is hard to argue that this Lakers team couldn’t take out any squad this league has ever seen.

Charles Barkley views Lakers as ‘surprise team’ heading into 2023-24 season

Of course, the current Lakers are led by another outstanding duo in LeBron James and Anthony Davis and are looking to bring in the franchise’s 18th NBA Championship. NBA analyst Charles Barkley believes they are amongst the contenders to do just that.

The Hall of Famer and Turner Sports analyst listed the Lakers as a ‘surprise team,’ believing they have improved their roster in the offseason. The defending champion Denver Nuggets are the favorites as they should be, but the Lakers are looking to overtake them and believe they have made the moves in order to do so.

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