On the latest episode of his Big Podcast With Shaq, Shaq’s co-host Anthony “Spice” Adams asked the Los Angeles Lakers legend if he’s “willing to crown Embiid and Harden the next Shaq and Kobe.”
“No,” Shaq responded at the 46:30 mark. Adams then asked O’Neal if the Philadelphia Sixers duo has the potential to reach his and Kobe’s level one day. “Not at all,” Shaq replied.
“We won three out of four,” he continued. “No. No. Hell, no. Not after one year. Me and Kobe had eight years of damage together. No, not even close. Stop it. Listen, NO, H NO, and F NO.”
Of course, you’d be hard pressed to find many basketball fans who believe Embiid and Harden are on the same level as Shaq and Kobe. Widely considered one of the greatest duos the NBA has ever seen, O’Neal and Bryant won three consecutive titles from 2000 to 2002, establishing their case as the most dominant one-two punch of the decade.
And yet, despite their small sample size as teammates, there’s no denying that Embiid and Harden are already dominant. In the five games Philly’s new star duo has played together, the Sixers are 5-0, with Embiid averaging 32.6 points per game and 10.8 rebounds per game, while Harden has notched per game averages of 24.6 points and 12.4 assists.
Listen to Shaq’s full reaction to people comparing Embiid and Harden to him and Kobe up top.