Charles Barkley rips Kendrick Perkins for suggesting racial bias plays role in MVP voting
Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley shot down Kendrick Perkins’ suggestion that race plays a role in NBA MVP voting when it comes to Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic.
Barkley spoke with Vic Lombardi, Mark Moser and Brett Cain on Denver’s Altitude Sports Radio about Perkins’ comments. The former Phoenix Suns star said he doesn’t believe Jokic was worried about what pundits were saying about him to start ESPN’s “first take.”
Perkins suggested there was a racial bias because three players since 1990 have won an MVP despite finishing 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). All three are white.
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“I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even care about the idiots talking about him on TV,” Barkley said. “If I know Joker, he probably just got out of bed. Probably had a good night’s sleep. The Nuggets, they won a tough game last night. Mike Malone probably should have given them the day off. And should have let them sleep. The day after that game. I’m pretty sure he’s not in for all this stupidity.
“You can’t tell me, because the numbers don’t mean anything. … Does he know how many voters are actually white or did he pull 80% of his a–? My point is, if only five whites have won. MVP over the last 30 years, it makes zero sense – his argument. Zero sense. Because if that were the case, we’d have a lot more white MVPs. … Wouldn’t the numbers be worse?”
He called Perkins “one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard”.
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“I always talk about the ESPN disease,” added the 1993 MVP. “A lot of these people, when they get on TV and stuff, they’re like, ‘Okay, I’m on ESPN, I have to say something provocative.’ And you know the thing about it, you’re always going to get some idiots in there, you might call some idiots to agree with that.
“That’s something that bothers me sometimes. I can promise you, I’ve never said anything on television just to get clicks. That doesn’t mean I’m right or wrong. , whatever. But I never said. Something like, ‘Well, I know people are going to react and get mad, let me say this.’
“And that’s something that bothers me too. Man, race is a very interesting subject because very few people are pure of heart. We can talk about race as long as you want as long as you’re fair and honest. Be. But slandering this man (Jokic) in this situation is just BS.
JJ Redick slams Kendrick Perkins’ suggestion NBA MVP voting is racially biased, criticizes format of ESPN show
Barkley used his career to draw comparisons. He said that when he won the MVP in 1993, he was not a better overall player than Michael Jordan but was the Suns’ best player that season while Phoenix had the best record in the NBA.
JJ Reddick appeared on ESPN’s “First Take” on Tuesday and pushed back strongly on Perkins’ opinion that there is racial bias in the voting.
“Stephen A. (Smith), I mean no offense to you. And I mean no offense to ‘First Take’ because I think the show is so valuable,” he prefaced. “It’s an honor to be at this desk every day. It really is. But what we’ve just seen is the problem with this show. Where we create narratives that don’t exist in reality. Which means you say Are – those White NBA (award) voters are racist, that they favor white people. You just said it.
“That’s exactly what you represent Kendrick Perkins,” Redick said as his former NBA teammate shook his head.
“I did not.” Perkins said and added, “I stated the facts.”
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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 track for another MVP award.
Fox News’ Ryan Morick contributed to this report.