Nikola Jokic and Shaquille O’Neal are the last 2 big men to win the NBA MVP trophy. Shaq loves how Jokic has changed the game today.
Nikola Jokic was given his MVP trophy ahead of today’s primetime TNT game between the Sixers and the Hawks. The 26-year-old Serbian big man felt grateful to every one of his supporters and fans for campaigning so hard for him.
Shaquille O’Neal himself seemed to be over the moon with his joy at Jokic’s victory. After all, big men seemed to have become an afterthought when Shaq was at his peak with the Lakers. And they’ve only recently staged a resurgence in the modern NBA.
Shaq is like a big overgrown kid at heart, which explains his love-hate relationship with today’s centers quite neatly. However, he’s never been shy to give props to modern NBA players when he feels they deserve them.
Shaquille O’Neal praises Nikola Jokic, asks a nice interview question
The Inside the NBA crew presented Jokic with the most coveted regular season trophy in the NBA. Shaq was one of those in the crew to take time out and ask Nikola a nice question regarding his journey to MVP:
“Joker, Shaq here! Thank you! Because of you, the big man is back in today’s game. You’re the first big man to win MVP in a very long time. I thank you and I appreciate you big time. Coming from Serbia as a kid, did you ever think that ‘I will be MVP of the NBA one day?'”
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) June 9, 2021
“No! To be honest, I didn’t even think I would be in the NBA, you know! My goal, as far as why I was playing basketball back home, was playing in the EuroLeague. Because it was the closest top league to my country, you know.”
“I thought I can play in some big clubs in Serbia and then kinda grind my way up. But then when Denver Nuggets drafted me, it was an opportunity for me to become an NBA player and I think I did a good job of using that opportunity.”