MVP voting is always controversial. With limited spots on the ballots, some players are bound to be left off despite having a strong claim to the title. However, to say that Nikola Jokic was not deserving of the MVP title in 2023 at all is certainly a take.
Jokic put up an average of 24.5 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 9.8 assists in 69 regular-season games this season. While that is a significant dip in some categories from his MVP season last year, it's still a fantastic season. He may have been 18th in scoring, but he was top-three in both rebounds and assists. However, that wasn't good enough for former coach and broadcaster Mark Jackson, who left Jokic off his MVP ballot.
Jackson Apologizes, Calling Jokic Snub An "Honest Mistake"
Jackson, who coached the Warriors between 2011 and 2014, had his ballot revealed along with all other voters on Thursday. His ballot featured Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Donovan Mitchell. Jackson claims that he simply forgot about Jokic when filling out his ballot. "One thing I live by, you make a mistake, you own it," Jackson said in an interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio's Justin Termine and Eddie Johnson. "Absolute mistake made by me... In thinking how did I make that mistake: you can tell I put one center, two forwards and two guards. So I wasn't even thinking."
However, he quickly went on to apologize for the bizarre snub. "I apologize to the Denver Nuggets. I apologize to Nikola Jokic, who is not only in the MVP discussion and deserved to be on my ballot but he is one of the greatest players in the history of this game and a top-10 center of all time. So I own it. If you want to take away my vote or do whatever, more than welcome. I made a mistake." While it's nice that Jackson apologized, it's still a bizarre snub. He remembered Gilgeous-Alexander and Mitchell but completely forgot about the star player on the #1 team in the Conference he used to coach in. Do you believe Jackson? Or do you think he's not telling the truth about why Jokic was left off his ballot? Let us know in the comments.