ESPN publicly corrected «First Take» panelist, former NBA center Kendrick Perkins, following his notion that NBA MVP voters are predominantly white, which has led to Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic, to win multiple MVP awards.
Co-host Molly Qerim began Wednesday’s episode of the popular sports talk show with a statement correcting Perkins’ comments Tuesday that 80% of NBA MVP voters were white, claiming it was a fact.
«I want to correct something here from yesterday’s show,» Qerim began. «When Kendrick Perkins said that 80% of NBA voters for the MVP award are white, the NBA publicly announces the voters each year, and upon review, it’s clear that the panel is much more diverse than we realized. represented Kendrick Perkins and we wanted to make sure we corrected that today.»
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There were 100 league MVP voters last year, according to the NBA, and there will be 100 again this year. Perkins was among the voters last year.
Perkins’ discussion began last week when he noted that only three players since 1990 have won MVP despite being outside the top 10 in points per game: Jokic in 2020-21 to win his first MVP, Dirk Nowitzki (2006-07) and Steve Nash (2004-05, 2005-06).
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Then, he dropped this comment.
«What do those guys have in common? I’m going to let it sit there and marinate. Think about it,» Perkins told co-host Stephen A. Smith.
JJ Redick, who played 15 NBA seasons as a shooter, criticized Perkins’ comments Tuesday.
«Stephen A. (Smith), I don’t want to offend you. And I don’t want to offend ‘First Take’ because I think this show is extremely valuable,» Redick prefaced. «It’s an honor to be at this desk every day. It really is. But what we’ve just witnessed is the problem with this show. Where we create narratives that don’t exist in reality. The implication you’re hinting at: that White voters who vote for the NBA (awards) are racist, pro-white.
«That’s exactly what you implied, Kendrick Perkins,» Redick said as his former NBA colleague shook his head.
«I did not!» Perkins responded, adding, «I laid out the facts!»
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Perkins later said that he appreciated Redick’s conversation because it was necessary to have. He added that his opinion stemmed from how «a lot of former African-American players have felt for decades.»
Charles Barkley also said his piece on the matter, saying, «Do you know how many voters are actually white or did they stick 80% of their ass out? My point is if only five white people have won MVPs in the last 30 years, that doesn’t make any difference.» sense: their argument. Zero sense.»
Jokic averaged a double-double in his MVP seasons the past two years. The Denver star is averaging 24.4 points, 11.8 rebounds and 10 assists this season and is on his way to another MVP award.
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Jokic is currently averaging a triple-double with 24.4 points, 11.8 rebounds and 10.0 assists per game. His 24.4 points per game ranks 20th in the NBA, but he’s third in rebounds and fourth in assists for the Western Conference’s best team, the Nuggets.
Ryan Gaydos and Ryan Morik of Fox News contributed to this report.