In a dominant, Hall-of-Fame career, Shaquille O’Neal was never more dominant than the 1999-2000 season: 29.7 points per game on 54.4 percent shooting, pulling down 13.6 rebounds a game, averaging three blocks a night, with a PER of 30.6 (and the other advanced stats loved him as well). It was ultimately a championship season for Shaq and the Lakers (the first year of the Shaq/Kobe era three-peat).
It was also his MVP season.
But he didn’t win it unanimously — by one vote. And 19 years later Shaq is still pissed about that. He was on Kristine Leahy’s show “Fair Game” on Fox Sports, she asked him about that and couldn’t get the question out of her mouth before he called out the reporter who did not vote for him.
“Fred Idiot Hickman. I hate him. I don’t need to talk to him. There’s nothing to apologize about. Because he destroyed history being an a******…He messed up history.”
Hickman, a longtime sports broadcaster who at the time worked for CNN, voted for Allen Iverson (who averaged 28.4 points and 4.7 assists per game that season, had a 20 PER and was well behind Shaq in other advanced stats, although those weren’t a thing at the time). Iverson actually finished seventh overall in MVP voting that season, it was Kevin Garnett second and Alonzo Mourning third. Iverson would go on to win the MVP the following year.
Because of that vote, Stephen Curry went on to be the first unanimous NBA MVP for his insane 2015-16 season.
As you can see, that still bothers Shaq. A lot.