NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley Calls Kendrick Perkins' Race-Based MVP Voting Allegations “Total BS”
Retired NBA superstar Charles Barkley recently expressed his disbelief at the race-based allegations made by fellow former player Kendrick Perkins regarding NBA MVP voting.
Barkley responded to Perkins' suggestion that race played a role in the award when it came to the recent victory of Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic. In Barkley's opinion, the idea was “one of the stupidest things I've ever heard.”
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Barkley, who was being interviewed on Denver's Altitude Sports Radio by Vic Lombardi, Marc Moser, and Brett Kane, refuted Perkins' claim, stating that he didn't believe Jokic was concerned about what pundits were saying about him on ESPN's “First Take” to begin with.
Perkins' argument was that racial bias played a role since three players, Jokic in his first MVP campaign in 2020-21, Dirk Nowitzki in 2006-07, and Steve Nash in 2004-05 and 2005-06, had won the award despite being outside the top 10 in points per game, and all three players were white.
Barkley found the argument nonsensical, and stated, “You can't tell me, because the numbers don't make sense…Does he know how many voters are white actually or did he pull 80% out of his a–? My point is if only five white guys have won MVP in the last 30 years, that makes zero sense—his argument. Zero sense. Because if that was the case, we'd have a lot more white MVPs. … Wouldn't the numbers be way, way worse?”
Barkley went on to use his own career to make a comparison. He claimed that when he won the MVP in 1993, he wasn't a better overall player than Michael Jordan, but he was the best player on the Suns that season while Phoenix had the best record in the NBA.
JJ Redick, a former NBA player and current ESPN analyst, appeared on “First Take” on Tuesday and spoke out against Perkins' opinion that there is racial bias in the voting.
Redick criticized the show for creating narratives that do not exist in reality, adding that it was wrong to imply that white voters were racist and favored other white people.
Barkley shared Redick's sentiments, stating that “race is such a touchy subject because very few people have a pure heart.
We can talk about race as much as you want to as long as you're going to be fair and honest. But to slander this man (Jokic) in this situation is just total BS.”