The always confident Shaquille O'Neal posted the above pic with the caption saying the All-Time Lakers would beat the All-Time Bulls by 50. If I could bet money on this hypothetical battle, I wouldn't bet much on the spread but I would bet on the Lakers line-up of Magic, Kobe, Elgin Baylor, Shaq and Kareem over a line-up of Rose, MJ, Pippen, Rodman and Ho Grant every time.
But my biggest problem with the Bulls line-up isn't the disadvantage of All-Star power-forward (and former Laker) Horace Grant having to guard Shaq or Kareem, it's the exclusion of Bulls center and one of the strongest players in NBA history: Artis Gilmore. The Bulls draft pick was a 6 x NBA All-Star and 5 x ABA All-Star as well as ABA MVP. OK, OK. those ABA awards sound nice but we are talking about having to play the GOAT center Kareem. Well, here's a few clips of Gilmore playing against Kareem and his "unblockable" sky hook.
With that said, as great as Gilmore was, he's not Kareem (no one is) and he's not going to make up for the rest of the disadvantages the Bulls staring five have. I'm just saying, Shaq, who prides himself as a NBA historian, should have included Gilmore instead of Grant. Maybe, Shaq was just complementing Grant for helping him go to the Finals with Orlando and winning some rings in LA.
PIPPEN VS BAYLOR
I think the one match-up that most people coming across this post will say the Bulls have a big advantage on is Pippen vs Elgin Baylor. Well, I did a post recently calling the great Baylor arguably "The Most Underrated Player of All-Time" so in my book, the Lakers win that match-up too.
WHAT ABOUT THE WORM
I'm not going to say much on this except I'm watching a Bulls & Magic game from 95 on VHS right now and Rodman's defense on Shaq has been greatly exaggerated over the years.
So with Rodman in the line-up and Grant playing instead of Gilmore, 50 still sounds like too much but maybe 23...since #23 is their only hope of not getting beat by 50.
BONUS VIDEO: SHAQ SAYS KOBE IS THE GREATEST LAKER EVER