Michael Malone absolutely owns the lame critics of MVP Nikola Jokic

Mar 2, 2023, 3:28 PM
Michael Malone Nikola Jokic...
(Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)

The noise around Nuggets center Nikola Jokic possibly winning a third MVP is reaching a fever pitch.

While some guys understand he deserves to go back-to-back-to-back like J.J. Redick, others are floating ridiculous theories like Kendrick Perkins.

Jokic responded to Perkins claiming he’s a “stat-padder” by punching back after a win on Houston on Tuesday night. “When you’re stat padding it’s easy, you know,” Jokic quipped.

Clearly he’s hearing some of the outside noise and is annoyed by it, as he should be. He’s the best basketball player on Earth, playing in the best league and averaging a triple-double. He’s worthy of the award, and anyone saying otherwise is simply seeking attention.

At Nuggets practice on Thursday, head coach Michael Malone responded to the lame critics, by simply owning them. First of all, Jokic doesn’t care about winning MVP.

“The individual awards, that’s not what drives Nikola. Like when he wakes up in the morning, he goes ‘man, three-time MVP, I’ve got this.’ No, it’s ‘how are we going to beat Memphis tomorrow night? A team that jus blew us out in Memphis. How are we going to win a championship? Get to the NBA finals?’ Things that we haven’t done yet,” Malone said.

After comparing Jokic to Duke and the Yankees, teams that have success and people are simply sick of, Malone buried Perkins for good.

“Maybe they’re just tired of this player, this non-athletic player from Sombor, Serbia who continues to kick everybody’s ass. Maybe people have a hard time with that. I don’t know,” Malone said.

Malone continued by acknowledging that all this chatter is clearly reaching Jokic’s ears.

“But for him to say that, ‘I’m padding my stats,’ that probably signals that maybe something touched a nerve. He knows that he’s a basketball purist. He’s not doing anything to pump his own numbers up, it’s just not in his nature and it’s silly to think otherwise,” Malone said.

You can watch the full answer as captured by 104.3 The Fan’s DMac below. Regardless, Malone has Jokic’s back, and hopefully this helps calm down something that has reached a ridiculous level.



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Michael Malone absolutely owns the lame critics of MVP Nikola Jokic