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