Shaquille O’Neal, Draymond Green on 2000s Lakers vs. 2010s Warriors

Perhaps the two greatest NBA teams of the 21st century so far have been the early 2000s Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors from several years ago.

Both squads won multiple world championships in succession, and, of course, those Lakers took home three Larry O’Brien Trophies in a row from 2000 to 2002.

Many have compared those early 2000s Lakers teams to other great squads that came before and after them. Shaquille O’Neal, who led them along with Kobe Bryant, got into a spirited debate with Draymond Green while on “The Big Podcast” about which team would win in a hypothetical matchup between O’Neal’s Lakers and Green’s Warriors (at 26:57).

While Green admitted that no one on his team could’ve guarded O’Neal, he did outline a defensive scheme they could’ve used to play ball denial against the dominant center. That scheme would consist of Green fronting O’Neal just outside of the paint and Andrew Bogut guarding O’Neal from behind.

O’Neal pointed out that the 2000 Portland Trail Blazers, as well as the Sacramento Kings, employed that type of scheme. But Green feels it would’ve been more effective with him, something that O’Neal didn’t want to hear.

The Hall of Fame center then asked Green who would guard Bryant, and Green said Klay Thompson, who was a strong defender prior to his ACL and Achilles injuries. O’Neal responded with an awkward silence.

Such a matchup would be a contrast of styles. O’Neal’s Lakers played slowdown basketball, while the Warriors popularized modern-day up-tempo, pace-and-space basketball.

Perhaps it would at least somewhat resemble the 2002 Western Conference Finals, in which Los Angeles barely got past a Kings team that was the first to play today’s variety of fast, 3-point heavy ball.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire