ESPN NBA analyst J.J. Redick went on First Take on Tuesday morning and called out Kendrick Perkins over comments he made about Denver Nuggets forward Nikola Jokic winning MVP awards.
Last week, Perkins implied that Jokic — in addition to Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash — only won their MVP Awards because they are white.
“When it comes down to guys winning MVP since 1990, it’s only three guys that won the MVP that wasn’t top 10 in scoring… Steve Nash, Jokic, and Dirk Nowitzki. What do those guys have in common?” Perkins asked Stephen A. Smith last week.
In response to Perkins’ comments, Redick — who many NBA fans consider being one of the few realistic NBA analysts on the network — said that the narrative they’ve created around Jokic is “exactly what’s wrong” with First Take.
“It is an honor to be on this desk every day, but what we just witnessed is the problem with this show,” Redick began.
“Where we create narratives that do not exist in reality. The implication — what you are implying — that the white voters that vote on NBA are racist, that they favor white people. You just said that,” Redick said to Perkins, who immediately shifted into denial mode.
While Perkins then yelled that he merely stated the “facts”, Redick kept pressing anyway:
“We all know what you implied the other day, we all know what you implied just now [that Jokic winning MVPs has to do with his skin color].”
JJ Redick condemns First Take and pushes back on Kendrick Perkins alleging NBA MVP voters have a racial bias against Black players: pic.twitter.com/7pOMmGW4AH
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) March 7, 2023
The debate around Jokic comes as the 28-year-old Denver Nuggets forward looks set to win his third-straight NBA MVP award, which has only been previously done by the legendary trio of Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlin, and Bill Russell.
This season, Jokic is averaging a triple-double, as he’s scoring 24.6 points to go along with 11.7 rebounds and 10 assists per game.
RELATED: Kendrick Perkins Suggests Jokic, Nowitzki, And Nash Only Won Their MVP Awards Because They’re White