Basketball legend Charles Barkley appeared on “Inside the NBA” Thursday and proceeded to hilariously troll ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins for suggesting that NBA award voters are racist while discussing who should win the MVP award this year.
(Video Credit: TNT)
Perkins appeared on ESPN’s “First Take” last week and contended that Denver Nuggets star center Nikola Jokić didn’t deserve to win the two Most Valuable Player awards in back-to-back seasons. Currently, he is favored to win the award for the third year in a row. The MVP award is presented in June following the NBA Finals.
Perkins claimed that only three players have been awarded MVP without finishing in the top 10 in scoring, and all of them are white. Those players are former Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki, former Phoenix Suns star Steve Nash, and Jokić.
“What do those guys have in common? I’ll let it sit there and marinate. You think about it,” Perkins racially charged. “When it comes down to moving the goalposts for certain individuals to win it, again, is it Oochie Wally? Or is it One Mic? What song are we actually dancing to right now? Why is this subject not brought up?”
“Giannis (Antetokounmpo) is my MVP,” Shaquille O’Neal announced on Thursday as the discussion continued on “Inside the NBA.”
“I know they have a lot of talk of who’s the MVP.”
.@KendrickPerkins gives his rebuttal to the backlash from @jj_redick for his Nikola Jokić comments 🗣️ pic.twitter.com/20R4K79SQP
— First Take (@FirstTake) March 1, 2023
That’s when Barkley took a humorous jab at Perkins.
“You only voted for him because he’s black,” Barkley quipped.
Everyone on the panel including the show host, Ernie Johnson, analyst Jamal Crawford, and O’Neal busted up laughing. They could not help themselves.
“Some situations beyond saving,” Johnson commented as the others continued to crack up. “Can’t always save it when the Chuckster comes off the top rope as he just did.”
Barkley wasn’t quite finished and got one more dig in before the segment ended.
“I saw it on the Internet; it’s gotta be true!” he snarked. “The things you see on the Internet is true, America!”
More laughter ensued, lightening the mood after Perkins’ comments stirred controversy in the media.
ESPN’s JJ Redick called out Perkins over his comments on Tuesday. They had a fiery exchange over the issue.
(Video Credit: ESPN)
“What we just witnessed is the problem with this show,” Redick asserted. “Where we create narratives that do not exist in reality. The implication what you are implying that the white voters that vote on NBA are racist. They favor white people.”
Barkley also slammed Perkins on Wednesday during an interview on the “Moser, Lombardi, and Kane” podcast.
“That’s asinine and silly,” Barkley said concerning Perkins’ comments. “Asinine, silly, and stupid. Pick one of the words, whatever one you want.”
“One of the things that’s silly about ESPN, at times, they do this silly debate every year about the MVP,” he commented. “Going back to even when I played.”
Barkley explained that the MVP award does not necessarily go out to the best player in the league, and “you can probably count the white guys on one hand who won MVP.”
“You can’t tell me, because the numbers don’t make sense,” he continued. “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?”
“I hate this silly argument that we have every year because it’s disingenuous, it’s wrong, but I always talk about ESPN disease,” Barkley noted. “A lot of these guys, when they get on TV instead, they like, ‘well, I’m on ESPN; I gotta say something proactive.’”
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