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Fan vote: Rafael Nadal at French Open vs Kobe Bryant's LA Lakers

The King of Clay vs Lakers led by peak Kobe: Who was more dominant? Getty Images

Welcome to ESPN's fan vote, where you, the reader and sports fan, will decide which individual or team has been the most dominant in the 21st century.

In our latest match-up, we have the King of Clay Rafael Nadal against the LA Lakers of the early 2000s, led by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal at their peak.

(Please vote in the poll at the bottom of this page to decide the winner.)

Rafael Nadal at the French Open (2005-present)

Imagine winning a Grand Slam on debut. Imagine preventing Roger Federer, one of the greatest players ever, from completing a Career Grand Slam (winning all four majors at least once) not once, not twice, but four times in succession. Imagine doing that to Novak Djokovic, another GOAT contender, three years in a row.

Imagine winning that Grand Slam 12 out of the 15 times you've played it, racking up a ridiculous 93-2 win-loss record in the process. Imagine doing all this while facing the pressure of expectations so heavy that anything less than winning that tournament is taken to mean you are finished.

That is Rafael Nadal's record at the French Open.

Kobe's Lakers at the Playoffs (2000-2004)

For the first few years of the new millennium, there was no stopping the LA Lakers. Managed by the great Phil Jackson -- who was coming off his incredible Michael Jordan-fueled double three-peat -- and powered by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal, the Lakers swept all before them.

They won the NBA Championship in 2000, 2001, and 2002 and while the Shaq-Kobe dream team broke up after that, Jackson and Bryant led the franchise to two more championships and two more finals before the decade was out. They may not have had great regular season records, but once it went into the playoffs, they were a different beast.

Sample this -- the 2001 Lakers produced a modest 56-26 record in regular season, but finished the playoffs with the best record in the history of the NBA. They played 16 and won 15 (the only loss coming in overtime vs the Philadelphia 76ers). Now, that's dominance, when it really matters.

(If the poll doesn't load, click here to try again. The poll will close at 12PM IST on Wednesday, July 1)

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