Shaquille O’Neal goes off on Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith for once again bringing up the fact that Steve Nash won MVP over him in 2005.
When it comes to protecting his legacy, Shaq is perhaps the greatest to ever do it. The amount of times he’s flexed his 4 championship rings on Charles Barkley during a regular edition of NBAonTNT over the years is incalculable.
Anytime an argument breaks out over what a team needs to do to win it all, Shaq brings up the fact that he’s won in the Finals, to disregard Chuck’s advice.
However, one thing Shaq has not been able to outrun in his time as a member of NBAonTNT is the time when Steve Nash won the NBA’s MVP over him in 2005. The Heat legend brought up the snubbing first back in 2018, clearly distraught at the idea of the Suns guard beating him out for the award.
Shaq would hilariously address the ordeal to Nash’s face after the latter had secured the job as the Nets’ head coach. “Can you show me one of the MVP trophies you stole from me?” asked Shaq, to which Nash responded with, “You can’t make a free throw down the stretch.”
Shaquille O’Neal remains salty about Steve Nash winning MVP over him in 2005.
When discussing the 2021 NBA MVP race between Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic, Chuck and Kenny brought up the 2005 MVP race which featured Nash and ‘Diesel’ as the top two candidates. Of course, Shaq had to defend himself as he seemed less than pleased.
“That’s what MVP means to everybody else except you lil weaklings.”
Chuck and Kenny got Shaq mad about the MVP again 😂 pic.twitter.com/LjZUDJeT6z
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) April 23, 2021
In all fairness, Shaq had an incredible case for MVP in 2004-05. Not only did he lead the Miami Heat to the first seed in the Eastern Conference but did so in his first year in South Beach.
He averaged 22.9 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game that season while acting as a dominant force on the defensive end of the floor.
Steve Nash on the other hand, posted averages of 15.5 points and 11.5 assists per game in 2004-05. Though he also led the Phoenix Suns to the number seed out West, he did so while being a non-factor on defense. He was outstanding on merely one side of the ball.
Whether voters admit it or not, narrative plays a big role in giving someone the MVP for a particular season. So the fact that an undersized point guard was chucking a flurry of passes in Mike D’Antoni’s ‘7 seconds or less offense’, while being the leader of that team, must’ve seemed more enticing than a big man dunking on every possession.