Future Hall of Fame NBA center Shaquille O’Neal is not afraid to be outspoken, as indicated by his most recent comments on two fellow future Hall of Famers.
Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant played with O’Neal for eight seasons with the Lakers while winning three championships.
Their dominance together could have lasted longer, but they became involved in a heated feud that eventually led to O’Neal being traded to the Miami Heat.
However, they have since mended fences, and O’Neal revealed that he would take Bryant in his prime over Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James.
“I played with both of them. You know, Kobe has that killer instinct. And I’d probably have to go with Kobe. That’s not a knock against LeBron. It’s just that I know Kobe and I played with him longer. I’ve seen what he can do,” O’Neal said to CBS Sports.
O’Neal played with James in the 2009-10 season, which was James’ final season before he signed with the Miami Heat, who he led to two titles.
James is set to play in his fifth consecutive NBA Finals and take on the Golden State Warriors in his first season back with the Cavaliers.
The four-time MVP is going for his third NBA title, which would put him closer to Bryant’s five.
“Kobe vs LeBron” has been a never-ending debate among NBA analysts and fans, and they have both received comparisons to Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan.
James will need to improve his NBA Finals record to 3-3 to put himself in more serious conversation among the all-time greats, but even an NBA Finals loss to the Warriors will not be enough to completely push him out of these conversations.