Shaquille O'Neal says his 2001 Lakers team would beat the Warriors

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The Golden State Warriors are on the verge of securing back-to-back titles for the first time in franchise history as they hold a 2-0 lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. 

In a rematch of the 2015 Finals, the Warriors have completely dominated their opponents and could complete a sweep if they win the next two meetings in Cleveland - something not many would have imagined coming into the tie.

A second Larry O'Brien trophy and another banner hanging from the rafters at the Oracle Arena would wrap up an astonishing campaign for the organisation in which they won a record 73 games in the regular season. 

For much of the year, the debate has rumbled on about whether this current Golden State team is the best of all-time and where they actually rank among the elite teams of years gone by. 

Many former players have had a say on this. Ex-Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen claimed that his 1995-96 team - who the Dubs surpassed for the 73-win record - would've beaten the Oakland-based franchise. 

After Klay Thompson said that they were better than the 'Showtime' Lakers earlier this week - poking fun at his father Mychal who was a part of that team, no doubt - Magic Johnson was quick to respond saying his legendary team would get the better of Klay and his teammates.

The talk hasn't stopped there, though, as four-time NBA champion Shaquille O'Neal has now weighed in. 

Speaking to the Associated Press, Shaq claims his 2001 Lakers team would also beat the men from the Bay Area.

The Purple and Gold went 15-1 in the postseason on their way to the title that year as Diesel and Kobe Bryant dominated every team that was put in front of them. 

Their only defeat in that run came at the hands of an Allen Iverson-inspired Philadelphia 76ers team who took game one of the Finals behind 48 points by the Hall of Famer.

But the Lakers won the second of three straight championships as O'Neal and co. won the next four games. The TNT analyst is convinced that he and the Black Mamba would run riot in the league today too.

"If you're using those rules, we'd win," O'Neal said. "Now we use these rules these days, we'd still win, because you wouldn't be allowed to touch me, you wouldn't be allowed to touch Kobe [Bryant]."

Once again, this is all hypothetical and can be argued forever without a definitive answer ever being reached. 

The only thing that matters at this moment is the current Finals matchup between the Warriors and the Cavs. 

The series switches to Ohio for game three tonight with Cleveland badly needing a win to stay alive. 

As the Golden State players have stated on multiple occasions, they're not interested in the debate of who's the best team ever, they're only in the business of winning rings.

Two more wins will see that come to fruition once more.

Kobe Bryant
L.A. Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
Stephen Curry
Golden State Warriors

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