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#pounditSaturday, June 22, 2024

Shaq catches major heat for what he said to Nikola Jokic

Shaq looks on

Nov 22, 2017; Paradise Island, BAHAMAS; NBA former player Shaquille O’Neal during the first half of the game between the North Carolina State Wolfpack and Arizona Wildcats in the 2017 Battle 4 Atlantis in Imperial Arena at the Atlantis Resort. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic on Wednesday won the 2023-24 NBA Most Valuable Player Award. Several fans did not like the awkward way Shaq congratulated Jokic for winning the trophy.

Jokic appeared on TNT’s “Inside The NBA” earlier this week after winning his third MVP in four seasons.

Shaq, one of the panelists on the show, congratulated Jokic for his achievement. But the 4-time champion also admitted that he believes Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander should have won the award over Jokic (video here).

“You know I love you,” Shaq told Jokic. “You’re the best player in the league. I want to congratulate you. But I want you to hear it from me first. I thought that [Shai Gilgeous-Alexander] should have been the MVP. That’s no disrespect to you. But congratulations.

Shaq is obviously entitled to his opinion. Gilgeous-Alexander also had an MVP-caliber season and finished second in MVP voting behind Jokic.

But fans and media members on X felt like Shaq was raining on Jokic’s parade by sharing his opinion to the Nuggets star during what was supposed to be a celebratory moment.

Some fans sensed that Shaq may have felt a little bitter given that he has just one MVP trophy to Jokic’s three.

Jokic had a dominant regular season with averages of 26.4 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 9.0 assists per game on 58.3% shooting across 79 games played. He led the Nuggets to a 57-25 record, which tied Gilgeous-Alexander’s Thunder for the best mark in the West.

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