Shaquille O’Neal still miffed at Steve Nash for winning 2 MVPs he thinks he deserved
During the unveiling of his statue outside of Staples Center, Shaquille O’Neal couldn’t help but argue that his already great legacy could have been even greater if it weren’t for the media.
The Diesel to this day resents the fact that Steve Nash won back-to-back MVPs during 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons, comparing himself to LeBron James and arguing that they’re players that should win it every year as the most dominant in the sport.
“LeBron [James] and myself are similar,” O’Neal told Sports Illustrated earlier this month. “We could be MVP every year. But [the voters] don’t give it every year and he’s already got four. [I should have won] three, easily. Kobe should have won three, too. [I should have won] the two that Steve Nash got over me. It pisses me off. [Nash] knows.”
O’Neal and Nash played together during Shaq’s short stint as a member of the Phoenix Suns, which often leads people into thinking it’s a mere joke — but the big man harbors this resentment to this day and he offers a quote similar to the one above every time he’s asked about it.
In fairness, O’Neal had five top-three MVP finishes, eight top-five finishes and 13 top-10 finishes throughout his career. He was runner-up to David Robinson in 1995, runner-up to Nash in 2005, and injured for a good part of the 2006 season when Nash won his second MVP.
But even O’Neal’s only MVP win has remained as a tough pill to swallow, as he was one vote shy of becoming the first unanimous MVP in the history of the league, honor that Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry currently holds.
“The one where that crazy dummy Fred Hickman f***ed up my historical [unanimous MVP] so now Curry gets the first unanimous,” O’Neal said. “That bothers me a lot.”
Not very many question Shaquille O’Neal’s career because of these minor impasses, but it certainly bothers the big man, who has strived for greatness since the moment he made his rampant entry into the NBA hardwood.