I've heard people saying that race might have been a factor for Nash winning the MVP over Shaq. I'm sure a part of Nash's popularity comes from his race, but there were other stronger factors that allowed Nash to win over Shaq. For one, Nash had a career year; Shaq's season was far below average compared to his other seasons. Two, writers and fans are thrilled to see Nash's and the Suns style of play, and that surely got him some votes.
The strange thing about this debate is one could argue that neither player is the MVP of their teams. Nash is surrounded by talent, but look at what Amare Stoudemire's been doing in the playoffs. Last night he had 37 points and 14 rebounds. It's his third straight game with over thirty points. Meanwhile, Miami's rolling along, and Shaq's barely playing. How can a team be undefeated in the playoffs when the league's second place MVP is playing hurt and ineffectively? Dwyane Wade. All he's doing is putting up playoff statistics in assists, points, and rebounds that only Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson have achieved before.