It is the second half of the season in the National Basketball Association, and sports talk shows have begun the annual discussion about who should receive the Most Valuable Player award. While many of the voters and players in the league believe that the person who is most deserving of the award right now is Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins disapproves of that notion.
Perkins was a guest on ESPN’s “First Take” when he let out one of the worst takes in modern sports television history. Speaking to Stephen A Smith, Perkins began to insinuate that the only reason that Jokic is the odds-on favorite to win the award is the ethnicity of the award. Perkins believes that the white Jokic is less deserving of the award than black, African-born center Joel Embiid. Here is Perkins’ full quote:
“When it comes down to guys winning MVP since 1990. It’s only three guys that won the MVP that weren’t top-10 in scoring. Do you know who those three guys were? Steve Nash, Jokic, and Dirk Nowitzki. What do those guys have in common? I’ll let it sit there and marinate.”
— First Take (@FirstTake) March 1, 2023
The rhyme insinuated that rival Nas’ songs sent two separate messages. “Oochie Wally” contains misogynistic lyrics, while “One Mic” is more socially conscious. The lyrics are now a phrase commonly used to call out hypocrisies and double standards.
While this topic made its way around the internet, many fans and former players voiced their dissent. One such former player is podcast host JJ Reddick, who spent a decade in the league and has since become one of the game’s most prominent media presences. Here he is pushing back against the idea that someone else may be more worthy of the Most Valuable Player award by showing how crucial it is that Jokic is playing well if the Nuggets are to win a game:
“The Nuggets are 23-0 this season when he (Jokic) records a triple-double and going back to last season, they’ve won 27 straight games when he has a triple-double.”
Here you go. Don’t bring Russ into this. You made a point about Jokic. pic.twitter.com/IWPhBPvzqB
— JJ Redick (@jj_redick) February 28, 2023
Jokic has elevated his play this year, which is saying something considering that he is coming off back-to-back MVP awards. According to Fox Sports, Jokic is playing at a level that he has never before reached. Fox Sports wrote:
It’s easy to see why bettors and analysts are high on the Joker. He’s averaging 24.7 points, 11.5 rebounds and 10.1 assists per game this year. The Nuggets are currently the No. 1 seed in the West and have a five-game lead on the next closest team.
While Nick Wright, FOX Sports co-host of First Things First, says that Nikola Jokic “is not the guy you gotta have to get a bucket” nor “the guy you gotta have to get a stop,” he agrees that this is his award to lose.
Nikola Jokic talks about reaching 100 career triple-doubles.
— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) March 1, 2023
Featured image: Screenshot from embedded tweet
"*" indicates required fields