ESPN’s Mark Jackson Revealed As Voter Who Omitted Nikola Jokic From Their MVP Ballot

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The mystery of Nikola Jokic's MVP snubber has been solved. The culprit: 's Mark Jackson.

For more than a week, it was clear that one MVP voter had left the Denver Nuggets center off his ballot entirely polling totals revealed, Out of 100 voters, Jokic received 15 first-place votes, 52 second-place votes and 32 third-place votes, adding up to a total of 99 appearances.

The snub didn't cost Jokic a third-straight MVP award — he still falls far short of Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid and his 73 first-place votes — but it does seem like a pretty obvious attempt to limit his chances to do so. happens, or at least take an ideological stance against his candidacy. After all, no one voted him into fourth or fifth place.

In fact, it was the only ballot in which any of Jokic, Embiid or third-place finisher Giannis Antetokounmpo were outside their top 3.

Clarity finally came on Thursday, when the NBA Issued ballot papers of all 100 voters, Jackson, a former NBA All-Star and head coach of the Golden State Warriors, was the only media member without Jokic in his top 5.

Here's how they voted instead.

Mark Jackson's Nikola Jokic-less NBA MVP ballot

  1. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

  2. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

  3. Jason Tatum, Boston Celtics

  4. Shai Gilgeous-, Oklahoma City Thunder

  5. Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers

As NBA fans did the math, Jackson was criticized anonymously, and one of the most forceful criticisms came from his broadcasting colleague, former NBA player Charles Barkley.

Mark Jackson has some explaining to do. (Photo by Michel Leff / Getty Images)

Longtime TNT commentator lashes out at Jokic snubber During a segment on “Inside the NBA” on Monday:

“There's something that's bothering me. Joel deserved MVP and Joker and Giannis were 1-2-3, however you voted. There's a guy – I don't even know this fool's name – in Joker wasn't even in the top 5. People like that shouldn't get voted off.

“For the last six months, we talked about Joker, Giannis and Embiid. If you have television, or you actually watch basketball, if you don't think he should have been in the top 5, you deserve a vote. are not.” … You might be like some of these fools, we're here to vote for the president … He's so stupid.

It must be said, if a person does not legitimately think that a player was not one of the five most valuable players in the NBA during a season, they should have the right to leave him off their ballot.

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However, as Barkley argued, you'd have to stick your head in the sand for a long time to conclude that Jokic shouldn't be on the MVP ballot at all. He averaged a nearly triple-double with 24.5 points, 11.8 rebounds and 9.8 assists per game, while shooting a career-high 63.2% and leading his team to a 53–29 record.

Jackson deserves a chance to explain himself — and knowing his platform, he will — but his best defense at this point may well be a clerical error.