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The battle of the two greatest duos in Lakers' franchise history

Magic & Kareem or Kobe & Shaq -- two greatest duos in LA Lakers' history go head to head

“I have Magic ranked 2nd on my all-time list behind the true GOAT MJ. But Shaq is superior to Kareem and would destroy him. Shaq & Kobe were just two cold-blooded alpha dogs.”

In a hypothetical 2-on-2 matchup between the two greatest duos in Lakers' franchise history, Skip Bayless picked Kobe and Shaq over Magic and Kareem. His former co-host Stephen A. Smith, although favoring the same duo individually, went down a different route.

"Leadership matters, unstoppable move matters, free-throw shooting matters, and overall resume matters," Smith said, making a case for the Magic and Kareem as the better duo.

The greatest Lakers' duo?

For all the NBA hypotheticals out there, crowning the greatest one-two punch in Lakers' history might be the most polarizing one. And for all the right reasons.

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Cross era comparisons usually favor one side over the other. But in this case, the level of greatness is so universal, things like rules, style of play, accolades, or anything else that usually tilt the balance in favor of someone, become irrelevant.

Four of the ten greatest players in NBA history are on the court. One is the greatest point guard ever. The second one is the second greatest shooting guard ever and one of the most skilled scorers the league has ever seen. The third one is a legitimate GOAT candidate, and the creator of the most unstoppable shot in the game. And the fourth one is the most dominant physical force since Wilt Chamberlain.

There's a catch

The biggest question is, who would benefit more from this being a 2-on-2 matchup without the rest of the five-man lineup on the court. Because, Magic was at his best when he could make others around him better. On the other hand, Kobe was at his best when he could take matters into his own hands.

That's why it's safe to assume Bryant would thrive. It's also isn't crazy to assume that Johnson's "Magic" wouldn't be as magical without his all-time great ability to slash-and-kick.

This all means that the battle for the greatest Lakers' duo could be decided by big men -- 1-on-1 war between Shaq and Kareem. And while we all know O'Neal would bet on himself, Jabbar would sure have something to say about it.

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