Could Kendrick Perkins please tell us once and for all where he stands with regards to Nikola Jokic?
The ESPN analyst has repeatedly bashed the Denver Nuggets superstar center in recent months and has done all he can to minimize Jokic's elite level of talent.
In March, a panel of NBA commentators held a discussion on who should receive this year’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. Jokic was one of the names in consideration, in part because at the time he had won the award in consecutive seasons, and because he was playing at a level that was worthy of the award.
However, Perkins was more convinced that the "Joker’s" skin color was earning him MVP looks and not his stellar play. When ESPN’s JJ Reddick called him out for pushing a racist narrative, "Big Perk" doubled down on his claim and even said he wouldn’t use his MVP vote to support a white player.
But with the Nuggets in the NBA Finals and Jokic playing exceptionally well, Perkins has done a complete 180-degree turn and is now calling for everyone to put some respect on Nikola’s name.
On Monday’s episode of “The Pat McAfee Show,” Perkins gave Jokic one of the highest compliments any athlete can receive.
To put Jokic at a higher level than Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal and a plethora of other legendary centers is certainly high praise. It also marks the second time in recent weeks that Perkins has called Jokic the best player in the league.
Upping the ante, Perkins said that the sports media at large should do a better job of giving Jokic his due attention when people discuss the NBA.
“We are to blame. And that’s us as the media, us at the network, ESPN because we should do a better job of promoting and marketing him,” Perkins said. “We shouldn’t have to be waiting for the NBA Finals to be able to appreciate Jokic [and the Nuggets]. Like, we gotta do a better job of actually marketing him. Less talk about the Lakers and LeBron James and (Boston Celtics guard) Jayson Tatum and more talk about Jokic.”
Maybe he would have gotten more positive attention if idiots like Perk didn’t try to make the Joker’s talent and MVP consideration all about race. I know that’s a lot to ask from certain people in the media these days, but it’s a solution that seems fairly evident.
Jokic and the Nuggets take on the Miami Heat in South Florida for Game 3 Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m. You can count on Perkins to be supporting Denver’s superstar from start to finish, if for no other reason than to make up for his stupidity.