SIMULATION: Shaq’s All-Time Greats Challenge

Shaquille O’Neal stirred up some controversy this week when he proclaimed over Instagram that his all-time Lakers squad (Shaq, Kobe Bryant, Elgin Baylor, Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) would beat the best five players in Bulls history (according to Shaq: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Horace Grant and Derrick Rose) by 50 points.
Strat-O-Matic simulated this matchup and the results may come as a bit of a surprise to the legendary big man affectionately known as The Diesel.
Strat-O-Matic played out a seven game series between the two teams. Though fatigue ratings were turned off, a handful of other all-time great Lakers and Bulls players were included to spell players in foul trouble.
Here were the player seasons used for each team’s starting five:
1986-87 Magic Johnson (23.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 12.2 apg – MVP)
2007-08 Kobe Bryant (28.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 5.4 apg – MVP)
1962-63 Elgin Baylor (29.0 ppg, 12.2 rpg, 4.1 apg)
1999-00 Shaquille O’Neal (29.7 ppg, 13.6 rpg, 3.8 apg – MVP)
1975-76 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (27.7 ppg, 16.9 rpg, 5.0 apg – MVP)
2010-11 Derrick Rose (25.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 7.7 apg – MVP)
1995-96 Michael Jordan (30.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 4.3 apg – MVP)
1995-96 Scottie Pippen (19.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 5.9 apg)
1995-96 Dennis Rodman (5.5 ppg, 14.9 rpg, 2.5 apg)
1993-94 Horace Grant (15.1 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 3.4 apg)
Here were the results:
Los Angeles 93, Chicago 91

Recap: Los Angeles holds Michael Jordan to 10-23 from the field and Chicago shoots just 2-17 from 3-point range. Elgin Baylor leads the way for LA with 29 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar hits the game-winning shot with 18 seconds left in the contest.
Chicago 105, Los Angeles 89
Recap: Chicago storms back in Game 2 for a 16 point victory, led by 40 points from Jordan and 25 points and 7 assists from point guard Derrick Rose. Magic Johnson has 18 points and 13 assists in the losing effort for Los Angeles.
Chicago 123, Los Angeles 113
Recap: The two teams were separated by just three points at the end of the third quarter, until Chicago began to pull away. Jordan dropped 40 points for the second straight game, Rose finished with 32 points and Scottie Pippen was third on the team with 25 points to go along with his 13 assists. Kobe Bryant led the scoring for Los Angeles with 29, while Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (22 points, 11 rebounds) and Magic Johnson (15 points, 15 assists) both had double-doubles. Shaquille O’Neal played just 21 minutes due to foul trouble.
Chicago 111, Los Angeles 110
Recap: Game 4 was a nail-biter, with Los Angles leading by 2 with 1:08 left to play, but a clutch, traditional 3-point play by Jordan with seven seconds remaining seals the win for Chicago.
Chicago 112, Los Angeles 102
RECAP: Chicago finishes off the series at home, led by 45 points from Michael Jordan on 47% shooting. O’Neal, who had said that Los Angeles would win by 50 points prior to the series, led LA with 23 points and 12 rebounds in the losing effort.
Chicago: Michael Jordan, 38.2 ppg
Los Angeles: Kobe Bryant, 20.8 ppg
Chicago: Dennis Rodman, 12.6 rpg
Los Angeles: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 10.8 rpg
Chicago: Derrick Rose, 9.6 apg
Los Angeles: Magic Johnson, 14.2 apg
Chicago: Scottie Pippen, 3.6 spg
Los Angeles: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 2.8 spg
Chicago: Horace Grant, 1.4 bpg
Los Angeles: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 2.8 bpg