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Phoenix Suns

Updated Feb 28, 2012 - 3:08 pm

Shaquille O'Neal believes he deserved MVP awards, not Steve Nash

Shaq Vs. was a television show that pitted former NBA great Shaquille O'Neal against various athletes in their own sports.

Though the show's final episode aired on August 31, 2010, the big fella is apparently not done competing, or at least, "taking on" others.

According to The Ball Don't Lie blog at Yahoo.com, O'Neal took aim at former teammate and two-time league MVP Steve Nash when asked a question about his own legacy for Vibe Magazine.

Steve Nash is my boy, but I don't see how the f--- he got it twice. I was taught never to complain because you can't beat the system. People know who the real dominant guy was. But Steve Nash, I don't want to say it because you might print it and it might cause problems. I don't believe he beat me out twice.

Nash won his first MVP in 2005, after leading the Suns to 62 wins while averaging 15.5 points and 11.5 assists per game. That same season, O'Neal averaged 22.9 points and 10.5 rebounds per game for the 59-win Miami Heat.

The second of Nash's awards came the following season, when he led an injury-ravaged Suns team to 54 wins while averaging a career-best 18.8 points per game and dishing out 10.5 assists. O'Neal, though, only played in 59 games that year due to injuries, averaging 20 points and 9.2 rebounds per night.

So, Mr. O'Neal, which award did you deserve over Nash?

It's not as if O'Neal's career should be cheapened because he won only one MVP award, as he was easily one of the most dominant players to ever take the hardwood.

But to call out Nash, a player who helped revitalize his own career just a few years ago, seems at best misguided, and at worst a little malicious.

Was Nash the league's best player the two years he won? Probably not, as there were others with superior numbers in other statistical categories. But if not Nash, there are other players besides O'Neal who could have been given the award, including Dirk Nowitzki (26.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in 2004-05) and Kobe Bryant (35.4 points per game in 2005-06).

Shaquille O'Neal was a great player and is a smart guy. It makes little sense for him to call out Nash, especially in the manner he did.

After all, that's no way to treat a two-time NBA MVP Award winner.

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