Skip to main content

Richard Jefferson Explains Why He Believes The 2002 Lakers Were Stronger Than The 2017 Warriors

(via Bleacher Report)

(via Bleacher Report)

The Warriors aren't exactly in the best shape today, but nobody has forgotten their miraculous and impressive 5-year run. The 2017 Warriors, in particular, may be the greatest team of All-Time.

They won 67 games with Steph, Klay, Draymond, Iguodala, and (of course) Kevin Durant. By June, they had a Championship victory to show for it -- which would be just one of two.

But if you ask Richard Jefferson, the 2017 Warriors weren't the best team ever. In fact, according to him, they weren't even better than the 2002 Lakers.

Here's what he said on ESPN's "The Jump."

"Obviously, Shaq is the one person. A lot of times, when you watch the Golden State Warriors, you watch how they play that small-ball defense, they'll do what you call a triple-switch. So they'll switch Steph onto a bigger player and then when that player rolls into the post, they will then switch out. They will switch a bigger player onto that post player and then put Steph back out to the perimeter.

This is the issue with that: that amazing defense works so well because there aren't any dominant post players anymore. With the Lakers, you weren't going to be able to do that. They were going to throw the ball to Shaq and he was going to catch it and dunk it.

One thing that Shaq made you do -- he made you carry two, if not three, bigs on your roster because you needed those fouls, you need those big bodies because he was so dominant."

It seems like Shaq was the big difference-maker. While it's unlikely he could have succeeded on the same level without Kobe, O'Neal's presence on the team mad things different and much harder for opposing teams. He was so big and so dominant that there was really no answer for him.

Golden State's strategy hardly would have worked against them considering it wasn't made to deal with bigs as good as The Diesel.

Jefferson certainly made some valid points and he is more qualified than anyone to talk about it.