NBA MVP Ballots Released: ESPN’s Mark Jackson Omitted Nikola Jokić, Fans React

Controversial Vote Raises Eyebrows in Annual MVP Selection

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.

NBA MVP Ballots Released: ESPN's Mark Jackson Omitted Nikola Jokić, Fans React
Mark Jackson and Nikola Jokić

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.

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