We know the person who inexplicably left Nikola Jokic off their MVP ballot
May 11, 2023, 3:04 PM | Updated: 4:55 pm
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
***This story has been updated below***
99 out of 100 NBA MVP voters thought Nikola Jokic deserved a top-3 vote for the award this year.
One didn’t even put him in the top-5.
The inexplicable decision raised questions at the time, as it was a slap in the face to Jokic and clearly a voter who had some sort of personal bias against the Nuggets star. Well, that person’s identity has been revealed.
ESPN’s Mark Jackson was the lone voter to leave Jokic off his ballot entirely, as the NBA made the results public on Thursday afternoon.
Jackson’s top-5 looked like this:
1. Joel Embiid (PHI)
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)
3. Jayson Tatum (BOS)
4. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC)
5. Donovan Mitchell (CLE)
With all due respect to Gilgeous-Alexander and Mitchell, who both had great years, putting them ahead of Jokic is absurd. Jokic’s numbers speak for themselves, and he seemingly sets some sort of new NBA high-water mark every single night.
This also creates a potential conflict of interest moving forward. Jackson is on ESPN / ABC’s No. 1 broadcasting team, along with Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy. If the Nuggets advance to the Western Conference Finals and NBA Finals, Jackson would be on the call for Jokic’s games.
How can he give fans a fair and unbiased view of what’s going on if he has something personally against Jokic? When 99 out of 100 voters think he was a top-3 player in the league this year, clearly this just isn’t a terrible opinion from Jackson. It’s something way more.
The best way for Denver and Jokic to make Jackson look even sillier would be to win a title with him on the microphone. His really bad vote would then look even worse.
(Update 4:55 p.m.) –
Jackson has tweeted and gone on the radio saying his vote was a mistake and he’s sorry.
Made an honest mistake with my MVP votes. My apologies to the Denver Nuggets and Nikola Jokic. He’s not only a legitimate MVP candidate who deserved my vote, but he is truly one of the all time greats!
Again my apologies
— Mark Jackson (@MarkJackson13) May 11, 2023
Mark Jackson just went on XM radio & apologized for his mistake of leaving Jokic entirely off his MVP ballot. That’s a pretty egregious mistake but I’ll choose to believe him & show some grace. We all fall short. Just…be more focused next time 🤣🤦🏻♂️ pic.twitter.com/VCj4s13zrM
— Zach Bye (@byesline) May 11, 2023