In a surprising turn of events, the NBA has unveiled the voting ballots for this year’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. The revelation has ignited a storm of online backlash as fans discovered the lone voter who did not include Denver Nuggets’ center, Nikola Jokić, on their ballot. The culprit behind this omission was none other than ESPN’s Mark Jackson, sparking a flurry of criticism from disappointed fans.
Mark Jackson, a former coach of the Golden State Warriors and current ESPN broadcaster, diverged from popular opinion by not placing the reigning two-time MVP among his top five candidates for the prestigious award. Jackson’s ballot, in order, consisted of Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Donovan Mitchell.
What further surprised many was that Jackson was the sole voter to exclude some combination of Embiid, Antetokounmpo, and Jokić from his top three choices. Ultimately, Joel Embiid was declared the winner of the MVP award, as announced last week.
Nikola Jokić, who had clinched the MVP title in the past two seasons, had an exceptional performance this year, averaging nearly a triple-double with 24.5 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 9.8 assists per game. He also led the Denver Nuggets to secure the top seed in the competitive Western Conference.
The sports community, upon learning that Mark Jackson was the dissenting voter who omitted Jokić from his ballot, wasted no time in expressing their disapproval. Social media platform Twitter was ablaze with comments criticizing the decision. Fans and analysts alike expressed their astonishment and disappointment, questioning Jackson’s reasoning behind the exclusion.
The MVP voting results have not only sparked debates but have also shed light on the subjectivity and differing perspectives that exist in the selection process. The omission of a dominant player like Jokić has reignited discussions about the criteria and biases involved in MVP voting, generating a wave of opinions and contrasting viewpoints among basketball enthusiasts.
As the NBA moves forward, the spotlight will shift from the controversial MVP selection to the upcoming playoffs, where Jokić and the Nuggets will look to make their mark. While the disappointment of not receiving the MVP accolade may linger, Jokić’s focus will likely be on leading his team to success in pursuit of the ultimate prize—the NBA championship.
Charles Barkley a few days ago on the MVP voter who left Jokic off their ballot:
“People like that shouldn’t get a vote…He’s a damn idiot.”
It was just announced that the voter in question is Mark Jackson 😂
— Guru (@DrGuru_) May 11, 2023
This was Mark Jackson’s MVP ballot…
I would LOVE to hear his explanation as to why Nikola Jokic didn’t make his ballot at all. pic.twitter.com/E7MeVXpOkZ
— Jeremy Nicolls (@JeremyNicolls) May 11, 2023
Just want to give a special shoutout to Mark Jackson for having both Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum on his All-NBA First Team ballot.
You the man, Mark. pic.twitter.com/Ezm8ToJlLg
— Taylor Snow (@taylorcsnow) May 11, 2023
For those wondering, Nikola Jokic receiving 99/100 votes in the MVP voting was not a mistake.
One voter did not put Jokic in his Top-5 for MVP and it was Mark Jackson from ESPN.
Jackson had: 1) Embiid 2) Giannis 3) Tatum 4) SGA 5) Mitchell
— Brett Siegel (@BrettSiegelNBA) May 11, 2023
Momma, there goes that man…who didn’t have Jokic in the top-5 of his MVP ballot. We now know it was Mark Jackson. Didn’t have Jokic for MVP? No prob. But Tatum 3rd?! SGA 4th?! Jokic averaged a near triple double for the #1 seed lol. I’ve enjoyed Mark…but he should lose his vote pic.twitter.com/p990X2CHK4
— Zach Bye (@byesline) May 11, 2023
Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy talking to Mark Jackson about him leaving Jokic off his MVP ballot pic.twitter.com/bED6BxeMD9
— BetMGM 🦁 (@BetMGM) May 11, 2023
I thought No Jokic meant that Jokic was missing the game today.
So what Mark Jackson didn't vote for him. We all knew, from his commentary, that he is dumb af.
— jai (@JSupa15) May 11, 2023
Honestly? You have to commend Mark Jackson’s commitment to being the absolute worst. My guy gives it 110% day in, day out. Respect the hustle. https://t.co/jxhMRQqJxB
— Grace Marlowe (@graceofthecurls) May 11, 2023
Mark Jackson should have his voting privileges removed. The voting is supposed to be non-biased, based on the play of the players. Not this jackass’ misguided personal vendettas https://t.co/8KVCx42vZl
— Andrew Justin (@COSportsNut) May 11, 2023
Mark Jackson didn’t have Nikola Jokic in his Top 5 for MVP voting.. he has to be fined or his vote stripped, there’s no logical reasoning
— ᗩᑎT ᗯᖇIGᕼT (@itsAntWright) May 11, 2023
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