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Shaquille O’Neal: Steve Nash Didn’t Deserve Two MVPs

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Shaquille O’Neal: Steve Nash Didn’t Deserve Two MVPs

In his first year as a talking head, Shaquille O’Neal has struggled to translate his outsized personality onto the television screen. What the retired big man hasn’t had any trouble with, however, is the ability to give amazing interviews.

Shaq spoke candidly with Vibe Magazine about a number of subjects, and here are some choice quotes about former teammate Steve Nash and the rivalry with the Sacramento Kings:

VIBE: Some sportswriters think you underachieved because you only won one MVP. Shaq: “Steve Nash is my boy, but I don’t see how the &$#%#&@! 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.”

Was there genuine animosity between the Lakers and the 2002 Kings?

“It wasn’t, but I created it. I know how to get you to watch me. Okay, Sacramento is coming up and it’s already a big game, ‘&$#%#&@! them, the Sacramento Queens.’ And now everyone is talking about that. [...] The trash talk against Sacramento worked. Peja Stojakovic and Doug Christie missed open three’s down the stretch. “They were shook. Pressure busts pipes. Most of those guys were playing because of C-Webb’s balls. C-Webb had balls and White Chocolate [Jason Williams] had balls. [Writer’s Note: Williams was traded from Sacramento before the 2001–02 season, and didn’t play in that series.] Divac ain’t got no balls. Doug Christie damn sure ain’t got no balls. I would look at them during the national anthem. I could see in their eyes if they were scared. I would see Doug Christie looking and doing the thing [flashing hand signals] to his wife. I would make eye contact with Divac, and he looked down. And I was like, ‘Okay, I got him.’ C-Webb would try to look hard, but it didn’t work because his other puppies didn’t play well.”

Shaquille O’Neal also criticizes his work on NBATV and TNT (giving himself only a C-minus), his relationship with Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers management, Pat Riley and his NBA legacy. It’s a very entertaining read.

Shaq should be allowed to swear on television. I’m convinced this would make him infinitely better as an analyst.

http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2012/02/shaquille-oneal-steve-nash-didnt-deserve-two-mvps/


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i dont like shaq, but i've

i dont like shaq, but i've read his autobiography from 2000 titled "shaq talks back" at least 3-4 times. Guy tells it like it is and is entertaining.

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I actually like his analysis

I actually like his analysis on TNT when he actually gets to it. He knows his stuff but is an attention whore, nonetheless the most dominant center of all time and top 5 center, top 10 player in the history of the game

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All respect to Nash as he is

All respect to Nash as he is an All Time Great...but the fact that he has as many MVPs as Kobe and Shaq combined is a bit of a head scratcher...

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He won because he deserved

He won because he deserved it, no one else was playing better then him and made average players look like all-stars. Kobe and Shaq only won it a few times because there were better and more deserving people then them that deserved the award.

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IMO you can't win MVP when

IMO you can't win MVP when you are a complete liability on one side of the ball, no matter how dominant your other half of your game was.

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he is right

hes right how does nash get two he shuda got one and jason kidd whos a better point gaurd in his prime gets none .

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nash should have one and it

nash should have one and it was actually neither of the two he did win. He should have won the year dirk got it, but no way were voters giving him 3 especially considering how controversial the first 2 were.

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Its complete bull

Nash is a great player, but he should not have two mvps considering Jason Kidd took a no-nothing franchise to a nba finals twice AND HAS NONE, that kobe only has one, that Chris Paul numbers were better a year or two later and chris paul didnt have much help either. I question how some awards are distribute and the criteria for making that selection. Steve Nash great,but two MVPS NO WAY.

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I just wish Shaq would stop

I just wish Shaq would stop talking.

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Nash 2nd MVP

When Nash was voted his 2nd MVP, he even said that he felt "Foolish to win it over Shaq."

Nash did deserve the award, but Shaq did too.

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im thinking you mean when he

im thinking you mean when he won his first mvp over shaq. They were the top 2 finshers that year. Nash's second mvp, shaq was'nt even top 10 in voting and was not in the discussion for mvp

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It is indeed pretty

It is indeed pretty incredible that Nash has as many MVPs as Shaq and Kobe combined. Having said that, I think he deserves them. He was incredible those two years. He had at least three or four mind blowing plays every game and was making everyone better. I can't recall anyone in the NBA grumbling about it when he won it the second time. This was not a controversy.

I'm not a JKidd fan, but he should have won the first year he took that Nets team to the finals ( he did it again the following season ). However, his non-win should not take away from Nash's accomplishment.

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Nobody in hte nba grumbled

Nobody in hte nba grumbled with the second one??? Actually lots of people thought he didnt deserve it and it was a widely discussed topic at the time.

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Really? Can't recall.

Really? Can't recall.

llperez
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kobe averaged 35.5ppg. had an

kobe averaged 35.5ppg. had an 81 point game. outscored the mavs entire team through 3 quarters before sitting out the 4th. Averaged over 40 points for an entire month. Was all first team defense and MANY pleople felt he was hands down the mvp that year.

ItsVictorOladipo
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kobe averaged 35.5ppg. had an

kobe averaged 35.5ppg. had an 81 point game. outscored the mavs entire team through 3 quarters before sitting out the 4th. Averaged over 40 points for an entire month. Was all first team defense and MANY pleople felt he was hands down the mvp that year.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Not the MVP voters however, considering that Kobe only placed 4th for the MVP with just over half as many votes as Nash. Yes, years later in hindsight people wonder why Kobe didn't win MVP but the truth is that it is very rare for the MVP to be awarded to someone that is on a team that finishes 8 games above .500

Hey Jordan didn't win MVP the year he averaged 37 PPG either.

I think Nash did deserve the MVP in 2006. In 2005 I can very well see the argument for Shaq.

However you guys mentioning all these other great years by players that didn't win MVP (chris paul etc.) that isn't exactly the point. Unfortunately for CP3 in his best year their were more likely candidates, Nash was fortunate to win his 2 MVP trophies in years where the competition wasn't as strong.

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"I can't recall anyone in the

"I can't recall anyone in the NBA grumbling about it when he won it the second time"

Were you living under a rock?

The Scare Crow ...
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Shaq was robbed 1st the Kobe was robbed 2nd

I love Steve Nash but I'm going to make a very controverial statement...

"I believe Steve Nash won the MVP twice partially because he earned them but largely due to his Race"...

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there's over 100 people who

there's over 100 people who have a vote in the mvp ballots. There is undoubetly gonna be bias and some bat ish crazy votes. I mean like a third of the voters the year nash won his second and kobe droped 35+ didnt even include kobe in their top 5. Hell, ill never forget when darrell armstrong got a vote for MVP. Some votes are questionable. And then some just need to have their voting privlidges taken away.

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I think I know who voted for Darrel Armstrong for MVP

It was Darrell Armstrong...he must of bought that vote ...

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Steve Nash

earned and won 2 MVP's. End of story. File a grievance with Shaq if it bothers you. Peace playas.

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it wasnt years later in

it wasnt years later in hindsite. It was right then that many wondered why he didnt win. The fact that so many voters didnt even consider kobe top 5 shows clear bias considering that was the peak of kobe dislike with him having just broke up the lakers and forced shaq out and the whole colorado thing. He was hated and villavied and the mvp voing demonstrated that . Ask the players who was th best in the league that year.

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Only reason

KB didn't win was bcuz of the Colorado case, we all know that. Stern didn't want KB getting the MVP bcuz he thought it would've gave the NBA a poor image.

Shout out to Steve Nash, he didn't deserve to win flat out, but he had 2 great seasons so you can't take anything away from him. David Stern is only concerned with the IMAGE of the NBA and how it appeals to a greater audience hence the dress code change a few years back...I miss AI walking into gyms wearing his du-rag untied, kendrick perkins sagging showing his boxers,

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He was the best player, but

He was the best player, but he was the most selfish player as well.

llperez
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his starting lineup was lamar

his starting lineup was lamar odom, kwame brown, smush parker and luke walton. His top bench players were brian cook, shammond williams, chris mihm, sahsa vujacic and devean george. And they won 45 games with that team only becasue he was selfish. Would love to have seen how many nash leads that team to. Keep in mind bryant was argubly the best perimter defender in the league and gaurded the opponents top guy every singel night while nash took that end of the court off.

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I think Nash should've won it

I think Nash should've won it the 1st year. Nobody was really arguing that he shouldn't have won the 1st time he did. But him winning back to back wasn't a big issue until it was pointed out that Kobe and Shaq only have 2 combined. I just kinda find that interesting.

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I never said Nash deserved

I never said Nash deserved it, but Kobe didn't either. LeBron took a lineup just like that to the finals, and he did it knowing when to score and when to pass, not shooting every possession.

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well the mvp voting takes

well the mvp voting takes place well before the finals so that part for lebron is irrelevant. Besides, the east sucked bad that year and the cavs were the easist team the spurs played in the playoffs.

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I'm saying your argument of a

I'm saying your argument of a weak roster is lame. LeBron did a lot more with the same caliber teams and he never won an MVP for that.

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they won what, like 5 more

they won what, like 5 more games that year i believe in a substantially weaker eastern conference? And its not weak to bring up kobes supporting cast if people want to use the lakers lack of wins against bryant. I m not holding lebrons lack of wins against him that year. Im holding the fact kobe was a better basketball player and meant more to his team. Put that cavs team in the west and they get bounced first round too.

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The talent difference between

The talent difference between the teams negligible. You can make the argument LeBron meant more to the Cavs anway. You're speculating on whether they get past the 1st round or not, which really doesn't matter considering the Lakers didn't do that either. I understand you love Kobe, but just because he shot a bunch of times on a mediocre team doesn't mean he should be the MVP. He was the 7th seed in his conference, and 'his roster sucked' is not a viable excuse. At least Nash got a team that lacked Amare Stoudemire the #2 seed in the West.

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when you sum it all up as

when you sum it all up as "just becasue he shot a bunch of times on a mediocre team" then yeah, that doesnt sound very mvp like. I agree. However anyone with any basketball knowledge who observed kobe and the lakers that season would realize he did more then shoot a bunch of times on a mediocre team. But you know that already

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Obviously I oversimplfied it.

Obviously I oversimplfied it. He was awesome that year, the best player in the world. But I don't think he deserved the MVP more then Nash did, or LeBron for that matter. Apparently a few other people agreed, because he finished like 4th in the voting. I believe I have a little bit of basketball knowledge as well.

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I don't have a problem with

I don't have a problem with Nash winning ONE mvp.

Even one mvp is hard to justify in some ways... BUT I think he legitimately revitalized the Suns, and was the ONLY PLAYER IN THE LEAGUE who could do it. It doesn't show up in his stats, but he made the whole team so much better... take a look at some players shooting percentages when they played with Nash.

Hale
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He had a case both times he

He had a case both times he won, and a case for the year after. He might not have been the best candidate each year, but he was definitely in the top 3.

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i assume you do which is why

i assume you do which is why i added "but you know that already". You and everybody are entitled to opniions just like myself. Ill stand behind kobe being the deserving mvp that season. That was Kobe in his absolute prime and completley ungaurdable. Ill also repeat he was on a whole nother level defensively then nash and ahead of lebron as well in that regard. He carried a sorry team. I mean other then odom, not one of those guys ever did anything in their entire career minus kobe. I mean kobe made smush and brian cook look like solid nba players yet less then 2 years later they couldnt crack anybodys rotation. at least lebron had zydrunas ilgauskas who was one of the better offensive centers. Nash had an all-star in marion and arguably the 6th man in leandro barbosa.

Keep in mind that the majority of voters did NOT vote for nash as mvp. He just got more votes then anyone else. only 55 votes for mvp out of the 120+ voters. Kobe had 22 first place votes and about 22 people who felt he wasnt top 5. Heck, one vote was for elton brand as mvp. MVP voting isnt close to an exact science and opinions are all over the place from guys who are just fans who are deemed worthy of having an official vote.. But that year, kobe was the best player on the planet and meant the most to his team.

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Fair enough. I can respect

Fair enough. I can respect your opinion, good post.

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what does MVP mean?

the unfortunate thing about the NBA, just as in the MLB, is that the most coveted award is called the MVP. there is a lot of question as to what that means, and what it takes to earn that distinction. some believe (call them GROUP A) that it is the player that puts forth the most impressive statistics for the season. others (call them GROUP B) believe that it is the player that is the most valuable to his teams success that given year. there is little doubt that people in GROUP A would choose Kobe as the MVP. his personal production and statistics dwarf everyone else that year. GROUP B would have to look at both the Lakers team success and the Suns team success and how vital each player was to it. i would argue that talentwise odom and marion cancel out at that point in their career leaving the rosters with very similar talent levels, although id still give the slight edge to the Suns. the fact of the matter is that the suns had 6 players averaging in double figures, scored 109 ppg as a team and finished 26 games above .500. the lakers had 4 in double figures, scored 99 ppg as a team, and finished only 8 games over .500. i wont go into the playoff success because the voting is done before they playoffs are through. Clearly both were the stars of their team and vital to how they finished the season but clearly Nash had his team playing better basketball earning the 2 seed out west. Nash easily would get GROUP B's vote. as the award is named, Most Valuable Player, i personally would side with GROUP B, but dont believe Kobe's incredible individual season should have gone unnoticed. my solution would be to add a Most Outstanding Player award so that you can look solely at an individuals personal accomplishments instead of everyone having to decide what valuable means for themselves. Kobe was the man that year, totally unstoppable, but Most Valuable? im not so sure...

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To whoever said Nash made

To whoever said Nash made average players look like all-stars... Im actually dumbfounded how these Suns teams of about 5 years ago never won a title. Nash dishing it to Joe Johnson, Quentin Richardson (when he could actually play)0, Marion and Amare and then Barbosa coming off the bench. That was a scary roster.

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@Frogman.. Quentin Richardson

@Frogman.. Quentin Richardson is the exact player I was thinking of... he shot 8 threes per game with nash.

It's hard to say exactly how they would have played on other teams, but I think that both Marion and Amare benefited immensely from playing with Nash.

Take a look at Amare in 2003-04 vs. 2004-05 with Nash.

Marion experienced a huge jump in his FG% as soon as Nash came in in 2004-05.

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i believe nash deserved both

i believe nash deserved both of those MVP's! the fact that jason kidd never won an MVP and some believe he was a better point guard is meaningless 1.) because that's an opinion AND 2.) because MVP is a singular season award, not a lifetime achievement and nobody in their right mind is going to put steve nash higher than shaq in the hierarchy of greatness.

also, because the MVP is so tied to team success and we all know this, some of kobe's best statistical seasons came as the lakers struggled the most as a team. not to mention that flipside to this one, that if new orleans could have managed to beat out the lakers in the standings that year, cp3 likely would have won that MVP rather than kobe - because when it's close, team success always serves as the tiebreaker

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frogman

The Suns record without Nash is abysmal. They were just a bunch of great athletes who didn't know what to do, it was pretty sad to watch actually.

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I have always been with llperez

I felt that Allen Iverson or Shaq were better candidates in 2004-05, while I am honestly shocked that Kobe did not take it in 2005-06.

http://www.nbadraft.net/forum/mvp-4

Steve Nash's most deserving year was 2006-07, where I think he should have won the MVP over Dirk Nowitzki. I am not really sure Nash won because of his race, if that were the case than I think John Stockton might have an MVP because he was Steve Nash with defense. I do feel that D'Antoni's system and the Suns style of play had a large part in his winning those two MVP's.

He really was the leader of those teams and made them run, plus his percentages were excellent, but I think the MVP should also be able to play both sides of the court and Nash was always somewhat of a defensive liability. It is hard to say someone is not deserving of an award, but I think there were more deserving candidates most of those years. The thing with the MVP is that it has become more about the story and ones interpretation of value than giving it to the person who has had the best year or could possibly be seen as the best player in basketball.

One thing I think helped Steve Nash is that he was very media friendly and was a person people were rooting for, regardless of his skin color. John Stockton certainly was never as warm or flashy as Steve Nash. They looked at the Suns getting the best record his first year, than saw them get the "2nd seed in the conference" (even though they were really third, but due to really stupid rules at the time, were seeded ahead of a Dallas team that were atleast 6 games better than them) without Amare Stoudemire and felt that was an amazing feat.

It is a very objective award and everyone will have their reasoning. I still find it shocking that Kobe came in 4th in voting in 2006, when I felt he was playing the game at a level few had seen before. A lot of people feel that Nash deserved both, guess that is why he was voted the MVP twice in a row, but I think both of his votes were fairly controversial. I know people come up with "Finals MVP's are more important than MVP's", but I feel that Shaq and Kobe were both incredibly dominant players and find it hard to believe each will more than likely finish with only one MVP award. Steve Nash is not on their level and I do not think he was at the time when he won two MVP's either. Shaq indeed sounds like he has sour grapes, but I find it hard to not see him having at least a bit of a point.

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On a somewhat interesting

On a somewhat interesting sidenote, most of the highest scoring seasons in NBA history did not garner an MVP trophy:

  • Wilt Chamberlains three highest scoring years of 50.4 PPG, 44.8 PPG and 38.4 PPG seasons weren't enough to earn him an MVP.
  • Rick Barry averaging 35.6 PPG and 9.2 RPG for the best team in the Western Conference didn't get him an MVP either.
  • Elgin Baylor getting 34.8 PPG in 1961 and 34 PPG in 1963 were fruitless.
  • 4 of Michael Jordan's 5 highest scoring seasons did not result in an MVP: 37.1 in 1987, 33.6 in 1990, 32.6 in 1993 and 32.5 in 1989 (he did win an MVP with 35 PPG in 1988)
  • Tracy McGrady averaged 32.1 PPG, 6.5 RPG and 5.5 APG in 2003 and did not win an MVP.
  • Allen Iverson averaging 33 PPG and 7.4 APG in 2006, the second year Nash won MVP.
  • George Gervin averaging 33.1 PPG in 1980 and 32.3 PPG in 1982 did not get him an MVP either.
  • And of course Kobe's 2006 season.

Looking back at the 20 highest scoring seasons I could find, only 5 of the 20 ended with an MVP trophy (2 for Wilt, 1 each for MJ, Abdul-Jabbar and McAdoo). History seems to tell us that A) MVP voters are swayed more by win-loss records than by scoring and B) often the highest scoring seasons occur because a star player is surrounded by mediocrity.

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Steve Nash fully deserved his

Steve Nash fully deserved his first MVP but even as a Phoenix fan, I thought that Kobe should have won in 2005-06. Shaq had numerous chances to win other MVP awards especially during his peak years when Tim Duncan won his two awards and KG won his one. Personally I've always found it strange that Shaq and Kobe only won single MVP awards and I bet that the voters new they had to honour Kobe in 2007-08.

Kobe could maybe add another award this year, and I'll be interested to see how the MVP award goes in the future, will D-Rose and LeBron win again, surely the likes of Dwight Howard and Kevin Durant must have a shot at winning one.

Of the players currently playing I'd agree that Jason Kidd is probably the best player never to win one and down the years greats like John Stockton never won one and even MJ had to wait whilst Magic and Larry Bird were having their duels. Shaq also for example was behind MJ for the first few years of his career.

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