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Mark Jackson is the voter who snubbed Nikola Jokic in NBA MVP ballot

Denver Nuggets star center Nikola Jokic indicated ahead of this month’s NBA MVP voting that he really didn’t care about who would come away with the hardware.

Jokic had won the MVP each of the past two seasons. He was one of the finalists, joining eventual winner Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. After yet another splendid regular season, Jokic finished second behind Embiid for the NBA’s top individual award.

But as the voting was made public record, one thing stood out in a big way. A single voter did not cast Nikola Jokic among his top-five candidates for the award. It made absolutely no sense given that he was not only a finalist for MVP, but also played like it.

We now know who spurned Jokic. It’s none other than former NBA player, Golden State Warriors head coach and current ESPN NBA analyst Mark Jackson.

The Association released the results of the individual ballots, showing that Jackson had Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Donovan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers ahead of Jokic on his ballot.

We could now very well be in the midst of media wars between Mark Jackson and Turner Sports personality Charles Barkley.

After TNT announced that Embiid had won the award in a pre-game show earlier this month, Barkley told the audience that “people like that shouldn’t get a vote.”

But let’s put this into perspective for a second. Jokic led a Nuggets team that finished with the best record in the Western Conference at 53-29. He also put up yet another banner statistical campaign.

Nikola Jokic stats (2022-23): 24.5 PPG, 11.8 RPG, 9.8 APG, 63% shooting

mark jackson snubs nikola jokic
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This included a 40-point, 27-rebounds triple-double back in December. Heck, Jokic averaged a near triple-double from the center position during the regular season. Jokic also boasted a 31.5 PER and 14.9 win shares. In comparison, Gilgeous-Alexander (27.2/11.4) and Mitchell (22.9/8.9) weren’t in the same ballpark.

It’s not that SGA or Mitchell didn’t have great seasons. They did. Rather, it’s Mark Jackson discounting what Jokic did for a team that posted the best record in the Western Conference. Meanwhile, Oklahoma City lost in the Play-In Tournament while Cleveland was the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Just brutal stuff.

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