(Dapper Dan : the only thing he hates more than playing the race card is having to look up the definition of “unprecedented”.)

Duck and cover, the Miami Herald’s Dan Le Batard just replaced Stephen A. Smith as Target Du Jour for the New York Post’s Peter Vescey.

Of course Shaq is deserving of MVP; that’s why the vote was only 34 points apart. With Shaq as the Heat’s centrifugal force, last season’s playoff team all but breezed to a 17-game improvement.

Yet Nash is equally deserving. The Camelback Suns were a squalid lottery squad when he (and Quentin Richardson) arrived last summer. With him as their shrewd caretaker they increased last season’s 29-win mark to a league-tops 62.

Branding Nash one-dimensional and comparing his stats to Shaq’s shows how precious little Le Batard understands the game:

Magic Johnson didn’t have to score a basket and he still would’ve won MVP, or at least finished second to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Bill Russell didn’t have to outscore or out-rebound Wilt Chamberlain for the Celtics to win 11 championships. Some things show up in the stats sheet and the standings and some don’t.

Nash averaged 15.5 points and 11.5 assists. That’s one-dimensional? Who says nobody who looks like him ever won MVP? Did Le Batard ever see or hear of Bob Cousy? Boston averaged a league high 105 points in 1957, the year Couz won MVP by averaging 20.6 points and 7.5 assists. Hence, he accounted for 35.6 points, 33.7 percent of the Celtics’ total.

Nash accounted for 38 points, 34.4 percent of the Suns’ league-leading 110.4 and that’s factoring in Canada’s exchange rate and the fact the real Stevie Franchise can dribble and shoot with both hands.

Stole the MVP? That’s such an ignorant assertion I gotta believe Charles Barkley ghosted the column.

Would those millions of players out there who have failed to get the ball at the right time, or at the right place, or at all, please explain to Le Batard the joy of teaming up with a guy who finds you open before you even know you’re open.