Why was Steve Nash winning back to back MVPs controversial?

Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers
Steve Nash (Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers)

Steve Nash's MVP award might be the most controversial in NBA history. In addition to having one debated MVP award, Nash then won a second controversial MVP award the very next year.

On a global level, Steve Nash is one of the best players to have ever played basketball. Throughout the course of his career, Nash cemented his place as a top 5 point guard of all time by winning two NBA MVP awards and winning two Tournament of the Americas (currently, FIBA) MVPs. His legendary career saw him named to the NBA 75 team, while also earning himself a Hall of Fame induction.

Despite Steve Nash's dominance, his 2006 MVP award is heavily disputed. At the time, he posted a solid year with 15.5 points per game and 11.5 assists per game, while taking the Phoenix Suns to the top of the West. With the best record in the league to his name, Nash edged out Shaquille O'Neal for the MVP award. It was pretty shocking, considering O'Neal was in the midst of a huge year.

After joining the Miami Heat, O'Neal posted 22.9 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game statline. At the same time, he took the Miami Heat from a fourth-seed team to a first-seed team in the East come playoff time. Despite that, O'Neal was passed up for the MVP award in a moment that continues to be debated to this day.

The story only gets better from there. Before we move on, check out some of Nash's first MVP season highlights below:

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Steve Nash's MVP Award 2005-06

Steve Nash's MVP award once again drew controversy when he edged out LeBron James and Kobe Bryant to win his second straight. After a highly disputed 2004-05 win, Nash managed to improve his stats the following year.

As the assists leader with 11.6 assists per game, he then improved his scoring average to 18.8 points per game while shooting a career-high 92.1 from the line. It was enough to win him the MVP award, but it left many wondering how LeBron James had been snubbed. That season, James was averaging 31.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game.

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As a rookie, LeBron took the Cleveland Cavaliers from a ninth-place team with 42 wins, to a fourth-seed team with 50 wins. On the flip side, Steve Nash's Suns were second in the West with a 54-28 record.

At the same time, Kobe Bryant was averaging a career-high 35.4 points per game on 45% shooting from the field. Although the LA Lakers finished seventh in the West, it was a crazy year for basketball. With the level of talent in the league incredibly high, it made Steve Nash's MVP awards incredibly controversial.

Where do you sit in the debate? Do you believe Nash deserved the MVP wins, or should they have both gone to another player? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below, and check out some highlights from Steve Nash's second MVP season.

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Edited by Gaelin Leif