BREAKING NEWS – Denver, Colorado – Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley ripped into Kendrick Perkins’ suggestion that race plays a role in NBA MVP voting when it comes to Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic.
Perkins suggested there was a racial bias since 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). All three are White.
“You can’t tell me, because the numbers don’t make sense. … Does he know how many voters are White actually or did he pull 80% out of his a–? My point is if only five White guys have won MVP in the last 30 years, that makes zero sense — his argument. Zero sense. Because if that was the case, we’d have a lot more White MVPs. … Wouldn’t the numbers be way, way worse?” He called Perkins’ take “one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard.”
Perkins later spoke on ESPN on Barkley’s criticism. “Well, he can say what he wants,” he began. “And as far as the 80% reference, I don’t feel obligated to comment on numbers that I felt compelled to fabricate.”