Whether it’s football or basketball, nothing gets sports fans riled up more than debating who is deserving of league MVP. No matter what player you’re rooting for to win MVP, it can always be fun to debate against others who share opposing opinions. So long as it remains cordial and respectful. In the case of Kendrick Perkins and JJ Redick, that discussion took a far left turn that ended in a mess.
Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic was the topic of discussion, debating whether he should be considered the runaway favorite to win MVP this year or not. The discussion went sideways after Perkins, basically, pulled the race card.
Here is what he had to say:
“What do those guys have in common? I’ll let it sit there and marinate. You think about it,” Perkins said on a previous show. “So that’s my whole thing. Why do we move the goalposts for certain people, but for others we don’t?”
JJ Redick became infuriated over Perkins’ insinuation.
“Stephen A. [Smith], I mean no offense to you. I mean no offense to First Take. Because I think this show is extremely valuable. It is an honor to be on this desk every day. It really is, but what we’ve just witnessed is the problem with this show,” Redick started. “Where we create narratives that do not exist in reality.
The implication, what you are implying, that the white voters that vote on NBA [awards] are racist. That they favor white people,” Redick continued as Perkins began to interject. “You just said that. Yes, you did.”
Why Perkins believed it was necessary to make that insinuation is unknown to many fans who watched the segment, but it had drawn some negative feedback Perkins way. For Charles Barkley, he made his feelings towards Perkins’ comments known through more indirect means.
During Thursday’s Inside the NBA, colleague Shaquille O’Neal stated his belief that Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks is the favorite to win MVP. Barkley took that opportunity to mock Kendrick Perkins / JJ Redick debacle by jokingly responding with “You’re only voting for him because he’s black.”
After about a minute of everyone laughing and cracking up, Barkley finished with saying that saw it on the internet so it has to be true. “Everything you see on the internet is true, America.”
Shows how little weight Perkins’ words held to him.
“What we just witnessed is the problem with this show. Where we create narratives that do not exist in reality.”
JJ Redick went in on Kendrick Perkins and First Take for insinuating NBA MVP voters have racial bias against black players 😳pic.twitter.com/Zvu6e6l2fA
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) March 7, 2023
Charles Barkley off the top rope // Giannis MVP Voting pic.twitter.com/HrnRZOsIYk
— 3030 🇩🇴 (@jose3030) March 10, 2023