Game recognizes game and Shaquille O’Neal lives by it.
The 51-year-old legendary NBA star was impressed as he watched Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic dominate the first game of the NBA Finals.
After the game, the NBA TV crew and Shaq, along with Charles Barkley, Grant Hill and Matt Winer, discussed Denver’s win.
The Nuggets defeated them intense heat in Game 1 he scored 104-93 to take a 1-0 lead and Shaq was full of praise for Jokic.
“He’s the epitome of letting the game come to you… This guy is super impressive as a big man and I’m glad I got to see him live.”
Jokic was unstoppable in Game 1, ending Denver’s win over the Heat with 27 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds.
It’s his sixth triple-double in his last seven games.
Shaq continued to praise the two-time NBA MVP and expressed that tonight Jokic showed why he is a great player.
“He is the true definition of a great player. Not only does he make himself look good, he makes everyone else look good too.”
Jokic later joined the show to do an post-game interview with NBA TV and was asked by Hill, “Growing up abroad, who did you want to base your game on?”
Jokic jokingly replied, “I think it’s Shaq,” before laughing and pointing at him.
Shaq quickly replied, “That means a lot, brother.”
Jokic replied: “No, I’m just kidding.”
At the end of the interview, Shaq does something he rarely does and praises another centermate.
Shaq is known for harshly criticizing and making high demands on tall men.
Before Jokic left, Shaq gave him an important message: “One last thing: I don’t give a lot of props to a lot of big boys, but I give you all the props in the world bro.”
“Very, very, very impressive to look at.”
“Thank you Shaq, that means a lot to me,” Jokic replied.
Denver meets the Heat in the second game of the NBA Finals on Sunday.