Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley Get Into Heated Discussion Over Steph Curry’s Chances at MVP

Published 05/23/2021, 10:30 AM EDT
May 19, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) smiles after shooting a basket over Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) in the first half of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


As the regular season got wrapped up, the finalists for the MVP race were also revealed. With Nikola Jokic right on top, Joel Embiid and Steph Curry were right behind him. However, Steph’s chances for winning the title have become bleak as the Warriors just got kicked out before they could even enter into playoff contention. But if there is anyone who is still advocating for Steph, it’s Shaquille O’Neal.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

What makes a player deserving of winning the prestigious MVP award? If it’s about being a top scorer, Curry has without a doubt stolen the show and has helped bring the Warriors further than anyone expected. While most expected the Warriors to land last in the West, they were able to come face to face with the Lakers in the play-on tournament.

But the team’s success also plays a major role in bringing home that title. And clearly, Joel Embiid’s Philadelphia 76ers and Nikola Jokic’s Denver Nuggets make a much better case for them. However, this topic is quite debatable and even led to a heated argument between Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Shaq and Chuck’s debate over Steph Curry in the MVP race

From Shaq’s point of view, Curry deserves to be MVP more than anyone. But this wasn’t the popular opinion when he sat down with Ernie Johnson and Charles Barkley to have this discussion. Johnson and Barkley tried to explain that almost always, the player who wins the MVP is from a top team.

This had Shaq furious, and both he and Chuck had a screaming match from across the table trying to get their point across. There is no doubt that Curry has been anything less than incredible this season. However, the lack of consistency that Jokic showed is unparalleled.

Who is the heavy favorite to win?

The man leading the race for weeks now is Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic. For most, he has already locked that award for himself and it is something many fans have been preaching for a while now.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Plenty of times, the narrative shifted to players like Embiid, Curry, LeBron James, and even Chris Paul. But the focus on Jokic never wavered even once. Averaging a whopping 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 8.3 assists, he helped the Nuggets maintain a stellar record throughout the regular season.

Apr 28, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA;Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) dribbles at New Orleans Pelicans center Steven Adams (12) in the first quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

If somebody deserves it, it is Jokic. What are your thoughts on this? Is being a great player enough or the team’s success should be taken into account for this award?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

‘Kept These Guys Alive’: Anthony Davis Commends Stephen Curry For MVP-Worthy Season

29 days ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Yashima Bhatia

1204 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT