Kobe Bryant and LeBron James AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

With LeBron James trying to win a third NBA championship, there's been a lot of talk about his place in NBA history. Last week, Bill Laimbeer said he'd take LeBron over Michael Jordan, but Laimbeer only ever got the chance to play against one of them.

Shaquille O'Neal is in a different position when it comes to LeBron and Kobe Bryant. Shaq played with and against both players, giving him a unique perspective on their strengths and weaknesses. When he joined "The Dan Patrick Show on Monday," Shaq was asked which player in his prime he'd rather take. 

"I played with both of them," Shaq said. "Kobe has that killer instinct. I'll probably have to go with Kobe. That's not a knock against LeBron."

That might come as a bit of a surprise considering Shaq and Kobe's often-contentious relationship. But his choice of Kobe over LeBron came with a disclaimer.

"Does LeBron not have that killer instinct?" Patrick asked.

"Yes, he does," Shaq said. "A lot of people try to compare him to Mike [Jordan], when he's more like Magic [Johnson]. When he needs to take over the game, he will. He's really, really smart, very intelligent, he lets the game come to him, and he relies on others. Magic relied on others, it worked out for him. LeBron has relied on others these past five years, it's worked out for him."

"Hopefully it works out for him in the Finals," he added.

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