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Michael Jordan Confident: All-Time Bulls Would 'Kill' All-Time Lakers

Michael Jordan Confident: All-Time Bulls Would 'Kill' All-Time Lakers

Iconic NBA legends spark a heated historical comparison.

by Nouman Rasool
Michael Jordan Confident: All-Time Bulls Would 'Kill' All-Time Lakers
© Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Amid the never-ending debate on NBA supremacy, Shaquille O'Neal, in a dramatic turn, lit up the world of sports in 2015 by making the incendiary claim that a hypothetical unbeatable all-time Los Angeles Lakers line-up would show no mercy to its all-time Chicago Bulls counterpart.

O'Neal, the player known for his big mouth and brash talking not only promised victory but even had the cheek to say that a staggering 50 points will be the margin that will see one team being declared the winner. While such pronouncements would have been more at home as part of the playful banter within which the competitive spirit of the NBA is encompassed, it very soon turned to something of a cyber-battle alongside Scottie Pippen, one of the characters of the Bulls' golden era.

He is the kind of fellow who took to Instagram to champion the honor of his Chicago brethren. The firestorm online caught the eye of none other than the Bulls icon Michael Jordan, who, when asked by ESPN for his take, agreed with Pippen's sentiment but couched it with a degree of diplomacy.

Jordan admitted the debates were part of the fun of sports, of course, and somewhat speculative, but confidently said, "I think we would have killed them."

Legacy Debate Showdown

All of this, of course, goes without saying; it's par for the course in NBA discourse when fans and pundits revel in comparing the greats from different epochs, from the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) debates to hypothetical showdowns between championship teams of old.

This particular debate holds its strong position in the legacy of both the teams considering the all-time best five from each franchise. The Lakers' line-up would feature basketball royalties such as O'Neal with Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Elgin Baylor, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, supplemented with Jerry West or Wilt Chamberlain.

On the flip side, Jordan's all-time Bulls feature himself, Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Horace Grant, and Derrick Rose, and mentionable mentions like Artis Gilmore, Bob Love, and Jerry Sloan add depth to the argument. Pippen retorted Shaq with reminding him that the championship is something that defines the Bulls, something that they won in Chicago.

This exchange is not just a proof of how proud these legends are but also indicates how competitive they are in general. That is not to suggest that the nature of such matchups is theoretical alone; far from it, and the discussion points certainly have a bearing.

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