Golden State guard Stephen Curry has a message for NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal, who said his Los Angeles Lakers teams would beat this era's Warriors.
"He's dead wrong," Curry told ESPN on Wednesday.
O'Neal told USA TODAY Sports earlier this week that the 2000-01 NBA champion Lakers were the better team.
"I think we'd easily win," O'Neal said. "Other people might feel different, they (the Warriors) might feel different. But we had one of the best teams of all-time in 2001 when we went 15-1 in the playoffs. We would've gone 16-0 but A.I. (Hall of famer Allen Iverson) went off on us and stepped over (former Laker) Ty Lue."
That team O'Neal referenced was the 2000-01 Lakers squad that nearly went perfect in the postseason if it weren't for an Iverson-inspired 76ers upset in Game 1 of the Finals. Iverson, the regular-season MVP, scored 48 points before L.A. won the next four to claim the Larry O'Brien trophy. O'Neal was the Finals MVP that year.
No team has won three consecutive championships since the Lakers at the beginning of the century. But Curry and the two-time defending champion Warriors have a chance this season.
Curry said while it's a compliment to his Warriors teams to fall in that mix, comparing eras isn't easy.
"For me, I think it's a tough conversation," Curry said. "All those conversations are just entertaining because one – who knows? Two – the game is so different. Teams that dominated their respective eras need to be left alone in terms of what that means. Hopefully that's how they'll approach us when they talk about us 20, 30 years from now looking back."
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