NBA Hoops

Shaq tells Nikola Jokic to his face who he thought should’ve won MVP

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This Wednesday evening, Nikola Jokic was named the 2023/24 MVP for the the third time in his career, and this has created many different reactions across the NBA. Just moments after the Nuggets center was named the best player in the league, he spoke to the Inside the NBA panel to share his first thoughts on the award. 

We all know Shaquille O’Neal pretty well, and if something is for certain, he’s never been afraid of voicing his opinion, especially if it has to do with another big man. During the interview, the Hall of Famer told the Serbian that he thought someone else deserved the accolade, but still showed him some love.

“Joker as the president of the Big Man Alliance – you are the vice president of the Big Man Alliance – you know I love you. The best player in the league, I want to congratulate you.” Shaq started out. “I want you to hear it from me first, I thought SGA should have been the MVP. That’s no disrespect to you, but congratulations.”

The former Lakers star now turned analyst then asked the Denver center how he thought his team could beat Minnesota in the conference’s semifinals, but Jokic didn’t react to his question, before he made a joke about O’Neal’s initial comment on his MVP status.

“Thank you, Shaq, we don’t judge people here. That’s fine it’s your opinion,” the Serbian international said before laughing. “I’m joking.”

The NBA legend responded by saying that between them, there will always be love and honesty. “Hey, all good,” Shaquille replied. “I love you. I love your brothers. One thing we’re always going to do is keep it real with each other. Congratulations, I love you.”

In reality, The Joker beat his rivals rather comfortably in the ballots, as he claimed 79 out of the 99-first place votes. Gilgeous-Alexander posted averages of 31 points, 6.2 assists and 5.5 rebounds, while the Nuggets star had 26.4 points, 12.4 rebounds and 9 assists during this past regular season.

Nevertheless, Jokic is well aware that other players like Luka Doncic also could’ve earned the recognition. “For real, there are a lot of players that deserve it,” Nikola said.

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