“Luka Doncic Doesn’t Have All That Help”: After Shaquille O’Neal’s Cut Throat Admission, WNBA Star Jumps on the Bandwagon to Back Her MVP Favorite

Published 01/16/2023, 3:30 PM EST

USA Today via Reuters

Amidst a historic season, Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic has garnered a sizeable portion of the NBA community on his side for his MVP campaign. However, with other superstars having an equally impressive season, his claim to the throne has met with some pushback. But when you ask someone like Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal or WNBA star Candace Parker, they have the Slovenian All-Star on the top for one major reason. 

After an impressive 2OT win against the Los Angeles Lakers last week, Doncic became the point of conversation on Inside the NBA. Incidentally, Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal made a cut-throat admission about Doncic’s current situation and then lauded his greatness. Similarly, WNBA star Candace Parker also crowned him the MVP in line with the Big Fella’s admission. Here’s why both legends believe Doncic deserves to win the Michael Jordan MVP trophy this season. 

Shaquille O’Neal and Candance Parker pick Luka Doncic for the MVP race


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2x WNBA champion Candace Parker recently appeared on the Steam Room Podcasthosted by Ernie Johnson and Charles Barkley. In the episode, the 7x All-Star, among other things, gave her MVP pick, which just so happens to be in line with Shaquille O’Neal’s assessment. When Barkley asked halfway through the season whom she had as her MVP, Parker replied, “As of today, it’s Luka…I think Luka I mean, anytime you get a 60 point triple-double, Luka doesn’t really have all that help that much help, and he’s in what fourth or fifth in the west. I just think that Luka is putting up almost identical numbers plus 13 points or 12 points.”

Parker’s assessment of Doncic’s situation aligns with what the Big Fella said last week. After his Herculean efforts in willing the Dallas Mavericks to a win over the King’s Lakers by putting up a 35-point triple-double, Doncic advanced a few spots in the MVP ladder for many fans. Likewise, Shaq also lauded Doncic’s efforts and harped on his greatness despite not having the best talent around him.

The Big Diesel then talked about how much pressure the young guard faced due to the helio-centric offense of the Mavericks. He said, “The tremendous amount of pressure on this kid, he has to create for others, create for himself, and he has to make all the plays for the team…This kid has to do everything for his team to be successful. Great player, an MVP candidate.”


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2x MVP Parker also gave similar reasoning for Doncic not having enough help before crowning Doncic her pick for MVP.

Luka Doncic’s MVP campaign

Doncic is currently averaging a league-leading 33.8 points, along with 9.0 rebounds and 8.8 assists. In December, the 3x All-Star went on a historic run, winning Player of the month with marquee performances and All-time a average of 35.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 9.3 assists.

Doncic’s heroics have willed the Mavericks to the fifth seed in the Western Conference with a record of 24-21. However, as the playoffs come around and defenses slow down, like the concerns O’Neal and Parker raised, Doncic will have to carry the Mavericks to the promised land on his own.

Watch the Story – Luka Doncic joins LeBron James, Michael Jordan and other NBA legends in historic list after another 50 point performance

Who do you think is the MVP so far? Let us know in the comments below.


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K Shrijith

399 articles

K Shrijith is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his BBA degree, Shrijith has a keen interest in the world of finance. In fact, he has past experience in equity research and writing research reports on the subject of finance.

Edited By: Satagni Sikder