In what might be the greatest five-year stretch in NBA history, the Golden State Warriors had a 73-win season, made five straight Finals, and won three total Championships behind Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Kevin Durant.
Together, they helped revolutionize the game and were just unstoppable during their peak.
But, according to O’Neal, they wouldn’t even be contenders in his day.
“They would have been the sixth or seventh seed,” O’Neal said on The Big Podcast. “They wouldn’t have even been in the game.”
Old-school players and retired legends constantly preach that the game today is much different than it was back then. In many aspects, that is true. Things are much less physical and teams today dominate by their guard-play and perimeter shooting rather than big men on the inside.
That doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that today’s best teams (like Golden State) wouldn’t have been any good. Even under the old rules, perimeter shooting is an insanely powerful weapon.
It stretches the floor, opens the offense, and creates additional opportunities for the team.
Of course, whether or not the Warriors would fare well in old-school ball depends on who you ask. Shaq’s comment only came after Warriors star Draymond Green stated that Stephen Curry and himself would have “destroyed” Shaq in pick-and-roll situations.
Suffice it to say, it’s a subjective matter. All we can really do, as fans, is sit back and enjoy the show.