Shaquille O’Neal Puts Giannis Antetokounmpo Above LeBron James and Kevin Durant: “Maybe a Lot of People Are MVP Candidates..”

Published 01/14/2022, 12:30 PM EST


The NBA, as well as MVP battle, is intensifying by the day. In fact, it is heating up by the hour. Every day, there is someone who is making his name in the league, and staking his claim for the season’s MVP award. Yet, some names stand out over others. According to Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal, Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the leaders in this race at the moment, over the likes of LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Especially after his phenomenal outing vs the Warriors.

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On Thursday night, defending champions Milwaukee Bucks took on the in-form Golden State Warriors. It was a battle of the guard vs the forward, as the effortless Stephen Curry battled the Greek freak Giannis. However, what began as a humdinger, turned into a thrashing in no time. The title-holders ran riot of a Draymond Green-less Warriors, winning 118-99. And their 27-year-old beast shone with 30 clutch points.

Shaquille O’Neal pips Giannis Antetokounmpo over LeBron James, Kevin Durant

No matter the current form, experience, and skill speak for themselves. Many of the NBA’s mainstays, including LeBron, Durant, and others, are very high on the 2021-22 MVP list. Not to forget 33-year-old Curry.

A former powerhouse center-forward, Shaq knows what it takes to dominate the game. And he believes that with his match-winning performance against the Dubs, the Athens-born star delivered a statement.

Dec 25, 2020; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) dribbles the ball against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during a NBA game at the Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Nick Monroe/Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Along with his 30 points, Antetokounmpo completed the night with a triple-double. It only cemented his place as one of the league’s most potent all-rounders.

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Here’s what O’Neal had to say about Giannis, favoring him over the likes of ‘Bron’ and ‘KD’. “This man was trying to send out a message tonight,” claimed Shaq. “Maybe a lot of people are MVP candidates, but I’m the reigning champ. And I’m the MVP.”

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Is Giannis Antetokounmpo ahead of LeBron, Durant and Curry in the MVP debate? Provided he can carry his men in white and green deep into the knockouts, he will surely be the front runner in the race.

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

559 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is an NBA and Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, soccer and table tennis. Sankalp idolises Roger Federer and Stephen Curry, and has an inherent love for statistics.

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