Nikola Jokic is the favorite to win his third consecutive NBA MVP award.
The Serbian native is on pace to become the fourth player in NBA history to win three straight MVPs, joining Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell and Larry Bird.
Jokic is averaging a triple-double (24.6 points, 11.7 rebounds, 10.0 assists) for the first-place Denver Nuggets.
But former NBA champion Kendrick Perkins, now an ESPN analyst, says there is racial hypocrisy in the award voting.
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On Wednesday’s edition of «First Take,» Perkins acknowledged that only three players since 1990 have won an MVP despite being outside the top 10 in points per game: Jokic in his first MVP campaign in 2020-21, Dirk Nowitzki ( 2006-07) and Steve Nash (2004-05, 2005-06).
«What do those guys have in common? I’m going to let it sit there and marinate. Think about it,» he said, testing co-host Stephen A. Smith.
He also used a famous Jay-Z lyric: «Is it ‘Oochie Wally’ or is it ‘One Mic?'».
The rhyme hinted that rival Nas’s songs sent two separate messages. «Oochie Wally» contains misogynistic lyrics, while «One Mic» is more socially conscious. The lyrics are now a commonly used phrase to denounce hypocrisy and double standards.
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Perkins also tweeted a response similar to the one he got on TV, but the video has since it was removed.
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Jokic notched his 100th career triple-double earlier this week, but Perkins has criticized the big man in the past for boosting the stats.