Fantasy leagues, best-of lists, GOAT-related stuff. In the world of sports – and talking about sports – there’s always going to be the “what-if” discussions. What if Michael Jordan was playing in today’s NBA? What would happen if this team (or player) from a certain era ever played that team (or player) from another era? It gets the creative juices flowing, for sure.
Our man Shaq is big about using his imagination that way. He posts regularly to his socials on various best-ever lists and fantasy matchups. Now one of the current Association superstars is adding his two cents to the discussion, and O’Neal’s name has come up again.
In a recent interview, Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry brought up Shaq as one of the very few players he would have wanted to play on the same team with. On the “Dubs Talk” show on NBC Sports Bay Area, Curry named his fantasy lineup of teammates:
“My top three, obviously [Michael] Jordan, [Shaquille O’Neal] and I’d probably say Hakeem Olajuwon,” Curry said. “I’d like to play with all three of those guys, because I think with Jordan, we all just want to see it up close and personal. And then I think pick-and-roll with me and Hakeem or me and Shaq would be pretty much unstoppable.”
No doubt Curry has forced hoops historians to write a new chapter in the story of the game. He’s shown amazing shooting skills and a virtually unlimited range, hitting the net from just about anywhere on the court. For some, Curry is at or near the top of the list as the best point guard the NBA has ever seen.
Yes, Magic Johnson will – and has – argued with that claim…but that’s another story for another day. Curry has put together a super-impressive resume. Four Championships already, and most likely another one or two more before he hangs up the uniform for good.
Not unlike current Lakers superstar LeBron James, Curry – at 35 years old – has shown no fall-off in terms of level of play and exceptional shooting ability. This season, his Warriors are off to a slow start, but that’s not unusual for the Dubs.
So…what would it have been like to have Curry and Shaq on the same team in their best playing days? Thinking about Steph, it would be really interesting to see his style of play in Shaq’s late-90’s era, which usually meant slower, more physical play, and not such a reliance on the 3-point shot.
Steph talked about Shaq’s big-man, physical dominance: “It’s just such the opposite of my experience on the court. I’ve dunked a couple of times, but like to have somebody like, (Curry smacks his right hand down to his left), they call it ‘Mouse in the House’ and you can just post up and understand as soon as I catch it, this guy behind me has no chance.”
Curry continued: “That’d be an out-of-body experience, for sure. So I’ve seen the Shaq highlights, I want to break some backboards every once in a while. That’d be fun.”
For sure it would have been amazing to see Curry and Shaq do te pick-and-roll. As Steph said (and we agree) – probably impossible to guard. Maybe that’s a signal to the current Warriors front office: get a big man to help Curry get (even more) open for his amazing shooting.
As they used to say on that old TV show, Twilight Zone – “Submitted for your approval…” Yet another fantasy lineup to consider with our man Shaq and one of today’s biggest stars. Enjoy!