Shaquille O’Neal Believes Suns’ Chris Paul ‘Should Not Be Mentioned for MVP’ This Season

Published 03/12/2021, 8:30 AM EST
Jan 1, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) drives as center Deandre Ayton (22) sets a block against Denver Nuggets guard Monte Morris (11) in the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports


The second half of the 2020-21 NBA season is underway and the ‘Inside the NBA’ panel is once again filled with heated debates. There’s no time to spare and the crew recently got into a serious discussion involving Chris Paul and what the MVP award really means! 

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Here’s the elephant that isn’t really in the room; Chris Paul has never won the MVP award in his career, but his fans want him to win it before he retires. But the other candidates’ numbers look humongous in front of Paul’s when one looks at this season’s displays. 

However, former MVP Charles Barkley believes Paul should be a frontrunner for the Maurice Podoloff Trophy in 2021. Unfortunately, he was the only man rooting for the Phoenix Suns guard in the four-man panel as the other three were against the claim. 

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Shaquille O’Neal firmly asserts that Chris Paul isn’t an MVP favorite this season

Everybody who grazes their mind for potential MVP candidates for the 2021 season wouldn’t bring up Chris Paul’s name in the first go. Although one could make a strong argument for Paul, Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal strongly objects against bringing Paul into the conversation.

Feb 13, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) and Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) celebrate during the second half against the Philadelphia 76ers at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

“Listen, Chris Paul is having a great year. He does have the youngsters playing, he’s leading them very well, they’re playing well, Devin Booker is starting to get his form back, but I disagree. He should not be mentioned for MVP,” O’Neal stated. 

The main factor behind O’Neal’s reasoning was that the Phoenix Suns don’t stand a chance to win the championship this year. As much as they’re gaining massive strides from last season, Phoenix still isn’t a title-contending team.  

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“Then change the award to Most Valuable Team, don’t say the Most Valuable Player. Most Valuable Player is singular… Player is singular,” a furious O’Neal mentioned. This was in response to Charles Barkley, who was constantly stating that Chris Paul should be considered an MVP for all the teamwork that he is putting together. However, as far as one knows, the MVP award is majorly given to a player with splendid individual averages! 

CP3 is currently averaging 16.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 8.8 assists, which is not the best stat-line of his career. However, the Suns have transformed into a much better team under his leadership. What’s your take on this conversation?

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Arjun Athreya

1914 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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