Shaquille O'Neal and Allen Iverson have joined Yao Ming to highlight the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's Class of 2016.
While Shaq and Yao have the more famous (and friendlier) rivalry, the pair of dueling behemoths never had a meeting quite like Shaq and Iverson in Game 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals.
Two pillars supporting the NBA's sustained one-on-one plateau that spanned from prime Michael Jordan to Kobe Bryant—back when passing more than three times in a possession was but a silly joke—Shaq and Iverson combined to score 92 points in the series opener.
After securing the No. 2 seed in the West by closing the regular season on an eight-game winning streak, the Los Angeles Lakers became just the second team in history to sweep its way to the NBA Finals, joining the 1988-89 Lakers to go 11-0 (the '89 team would get swept by the Detroit Pistons in the championship series).
Iverson wouldn't let his Philadelphia 76ers suffer the same fate as the Trail Blazers, Kings, and Spurs before them.
The season's scoring leader dropped 48 points on a voluminous 18-of-41 shooting to go with six assists, five rebounds, and just three turnovers. He played 52 of a possible 53 minutes in the overtime victory and unwittingly posed for one of the most iconic hoops photos ever.
Despite a 15-point performance from Bryant on 7-of-22 from the field, Shaq was enough to nearly lead Los Angeles to victory. The Diesel shot 17-of-28 for 44 points to go with 20 rebounds and five assists. Both Lakers stars played 52 minutes as well.
"You get down five in the Finals against the Lakers and everybody's got their brooms out," Iverson said after the June 6 contest. "That drives us."
He also told reporters what happens when someone loses a mortal bet.
"Anybody that bet on it, some broke people out there. Some people got their feelings hurt. I'm glad nobody bet their life on it, because they definitely would be dead right now."
The Lakers would win the next four to achieve their second of three consecutive championships. Shaq, who in the series averaged 33 points, 15.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 3.4 blocks, was named Finals MVP.