Kendrick Perkins’ Racially-Charged Comments About Nikola Jokic Draw Backlash
Once again, former NBA star and current analyst Kendrick Perkins is drawing criticism for comments he's made about a white player
This week, Kendrick Perkins couldn’t help himself. He had to make more racially controversial topics about another white NBA player. This time, it was the two-time MVP, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic.
Perkins, a 16-year veteran is now an analyst for ESPN, and he’s never afraid to jump into the river of race when it comes time to make conversation regarding pro basketball. While sometimes, his points can be seen as valid, more often than not, they just seem hateful and insensitive. And while sports commentators are paid to have buzzworthy opinions, Perkins always seems to come off like he has a huge chip on his shoulder.
This time he picked one of the best players in the NBA to inundate with his ire. Jokic is currently the favorite to win the MVP award for the third consecutive year in a row. His Nuggets (46-19) currently sit atop the Western Conference. In what seemed almost impossible for generations, Jokic is averaging a triple-double from the center position.
Everyone seems to agree the Serbian sensation is more than deserving of picking up more hardware in 2023…. except for Kendrick Perkins
“When it comes down to guys winning MVPs since 1990, it’s only three guys that won the MVP that wasn’t top 10 in scoring. Do you know who those three guys were? Steve Nash, Jokic, and Dirk Nowitzki. What do those guys have in common? I’ll let it sit there and marinate; you think about it,” Perkins said on ESPN.
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The emergence of dominant European players has increased the numbers and profile of Caucasian players in the NBA, which is still dominated by African-American players. While the NBA’s global expansion was once viewed as a positive thing, it’s viewed negatively by domestically-born players who feel squeezed out by the invasion.
And that attitude is starting to permeate throughout the NBA. Even the feel-good victory by Mac McClung in this year’s Slam Dunk Contest by some observers who claimed that he received more attention due to his skin color. And major media outlets are happy to fan those flames.
Bobby Burack of Outkick.com recently wrote a scathing article regarding the controversy swirling about Kendrick Perkins. He believes that the network as a whole is to blame.
“ESPN underwent a racialization following the death of George Floyd in 2020,” the story read. “Race has plagued the decision-making at the network since. Perkins is a symptom.”
“The network created a culture that openly accepts, and rewards, racism toward white players. ESPN gave Mark Jones a contract extension after spewing hate toward white police officers, white politicians, and white athletes. ESPN deploys Mark Jones to call NBA games with Jokic and Luka Doncic, two players he trolls on Twitter (for obvious reasons).”
The Joker probably got the last laugh on Kendrick Perkins, however.
Last week, after he recorded his 100th triple-double of the season, Jokic was asked by reporters about it. He replied in a way that was a wink to the fact that Perkins had also criticized him for pouring it on to get favorable stats.
Nikola joked about his achievement by saying, “When you’re stat padding it’s easy, you know,” which was clearly fired in the direction of the ESPN talking head.
Reporter: “What does 100 triple-doubles mean to you?”
Nikola Jokic: “When you’re stat padding it’s easy, you know.”
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 1, 2023
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