Before he went on a rant about his Dream Team snub, Steve Nash’s MVPs, teams starting the Hack a Shaq, and Nick Anderson’s missed free-throws, Shaquille O’Neal picked his best starting five from the ’00s. Here’s the list, 2-5.
No.5 I’m gonna put Dr. O’Neal. No.2 I gotta go with the Kobester. LeBron at the 3. At 4, you gotta go with Mr. Duncan.Shaquille O’Neal, Open Court
When it came to a point guard position, Shaq had trouble making his pick. Steve Nash’s name was brought up, as well as Allen Iverson’s, and after O’Neal laid down on the couch, creating one of the funniest segments in the history of the show, he finally decided between the two.
I gotta go with A.I. because he was fearless. My thing was, every little guy that came in there, I’m gonna touch him up. He was the only, besides Gary that kept coming back.Shaquille O’Neal, Open Court
Other guys in the studio also picked their starting fives. Reggie Miller’s lineup was the same as Shaq’s, with Kevin Garnett at the 3 instead of LeBron James. Dennis Scott also picked the same players as Shaq 2-5 but went with Jason Kidd instead of Allen Iverson. Isiah Thomas had Kidd at the point and KG at the other forward — everything else matched O’Neal’s five.
There was pretty much a consensus about who were the best five players from the ’00s. LeBron/KG and Nash/Kidd/Iverson were the only dilemmas for guys in the Open Court studio.
Most of the guys bypassed Steve Nash despite his 2 regular season MVPs during the span. Shaq’s reason for it, at least in part, was bitterness. The rest of the guys — they feel like Nash benefited from rule changes, and refuse to give him his credit.
There’s this feeling that Nash really took off and became MVP caliber once the rules kind of changed. Before that, there was a physicality to the game, and once the physicality out, at 31,32, he had his best years which you really don’t hear of.Grant Hill, Open Court
One thing’s for sure — Nash belongs in the discussion for the best PG of the ’00s, and you can’t go wrong no matter who you go with. Every other position is pretty much a lock.