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#pounditFriday, April 12, 2024

ESPN sets Kendrick Perkins straight after claims of NBA MVP racism

Kendrick Perkins in a suit

June 8, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers center Kendrick Perkins (21) during the second quarter in game four of the 2018 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors at Quicken Loans Arena. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 108-85 to complete a four-game sweep. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN is setting the record straight after receiving claims of racism from Kendrick Perkins.

Perkins is dissatisfied that Nikola Jokic might win NBA MVP for the third year in a row. He began to complain last week about the possible outcome and implied that Jokic is favored to win the award due to white NBA MVP voters favoring a white player.

Perkins was publicly challenged on his point by fellow NBA analyst J.J. Redick during “First Take” on Tuesday. Redick accused Perkins of making up a false narrative, while Perkins said his claim about white voters were “facts.”

On Wednesday episode of “First Take,” ESPN decided to let the actual facts do the talking. Host Molly Qerim issued a correction.

“I want to correct something here from yesterday’s show,” Qerim said. “When Kendrick Perkins said 80 percent of NBA voters for the MVP award are white. The NBA publicly announces the voters each year. And after review, it’s clear the panel is much more diverse than what was portrayed by Kendrick Perkins, and we wanted to make sure we corrected that.”

Credit to ESPN for finally standing up to a false narrative and correcting one of their analysts. 35 of the last 40 NBA MVP awards have gone to black players. Only three white players have won NBA MVP in that span. That hardly seems like racial bias.

Perkins also cherry-picked his stats about MVP winners not being in the top 10 in scoring by issuing his cutoff date at 1990. Why is that? Because in the ’80s, Magic Johnson won two MVP awards without being in the top 10 in the league in scoring. Is anyone questioning whether Johnson was deserving in those years?

The bottom line is Jokic has won NBA MVPs in consecutive years, and is favored to win it this year, because he deserves it. That’s why numerous black voters have voted for him to win it.

This little graphic shows that former players Jalen Rose and Dennis Scott were among those who voted for Jokic last year.

NBA MVP is a subjective award. Jokic, Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo are all great cases with excellent arguments for the award. Most voters just feel that Jokic has the best argument since he’s averaging a triple-double while shooting over 63 percent from the field and leading his team to the best record in the West currently.


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