Shaquille O’Neal, Who Is Still Bitter About Losing MVP to Steve Nash in 2005, Snubbed By Close Friend Charles Barkley in Steaming Hot Take

Published 04/01/2022, 8:30 PM EDT

One of the greatest centers that the game has seen, Shaquille O’Neal amassed 3 Finals MVP awards, as well as an NBA MVP award in 2000. In a Lakers setup that was filled with big names, Shaq was able to justify his price tag during his glorious career.

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Yet, one particular missed accolade that the 50-year-old rues till today is that of the 2005 MVP award. However, long-time friend Charles Barkley has now given a take that may not go down too well with O’Neal.

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 14: Shaquille O’Neal attends the ESPN Gala: “30 For 30: This Magic Moment” Screening during the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival at SVA Theatre on April 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/WireImage)

During the 2005 season, Shaquille O’Neal was in the form of his life. Averaging over 20 points, he was the perfect exponent of converting defense into attack. Meanwhile, veteran guard Steve Nash was in a class of his own.

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Although Shaq had ticked all the boxes to become MVP, Nash pipped him to the coveted achievement. And according to Barkley, who has known both players for years, the win was totally justified.

Charles Barkley makes bold statement against fellow friend Shaquille O’Neal

While Shaq has previously stated that the 2005 MVP award snub has left him disappointed, it is hard to bet against Steve Nash. After all, he was the devastating force that transformed Phoenix Suns into a threat. Meanwhile Barkley, who was once a Phoenix legend, has now stated that in spite of Shaq being the best player in the NBA, that wasn’t enough. When it came to the statistics and records, it was Nash and the Suns that dominated.

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Talking on the Dan Patrick Show, Barkley evaluated the Shaq vs Nash matchup. He said, “It always went to the guy who has the best record in the NBA. It never went to the best player.”

“Michael Jordan was probably the best player in the NBA for three years before he won MVP, because his team wasn’t winning. The Phoenix Suns had the best record in the NBA those years. Was Shaq a better player than Steve Nash? Yes. Yes. Yes. But my Phoenix Suns had the best record in the NBA,” claimed Chuck.

AUBURN, AL – SEPTEMBER 28: Charles Barkley talks with fans prior to the matchup between the Auburn Tigers and the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 28, 2019 in Auburn, AL. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)

Do you agree with Charles Barkley’s take on the MVP candidacy? Rest assured, everyone concerned has moved on from what happened, and is enjoying their life post retirement. Comment on what you think should be the criteria to determine the NBA MVP.

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

653 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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