ESPN’s Mark Jackson on Thursday was the only one who did not place Nikola Jokic among his five nominees for the MPV 2023 award.
Joel Embiid won the NBA MVP of the season after receiving 73 out of 100 votes from journalists and media professionals across the US and Canada.
After a close vote between Embiid, Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo, there was doubt as to who would be the mysterious voter who did not recognise the Serb’s achievements.
After all, the other two finalists appear in 100% of the votes. Thus, Charles Barkley, from TNT , went so far as to state that this person should not be included in the vote.
However, the former coach and current ESPN commentator Jackson broke the mystery and apologized. According to Mark Jackson, not including Jokic was a mistake.
“It was a mistake. And one thing I believe is that when you make a mistake, you have to be held accountable. I’m not the type of person who does these things to get attention.” Jackson said.
Jackson’s five nominees were Embiid, Giannis, Jayson Tatum, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Donovan Mitchell, in that order.
“Everyone is probably thinking how I forgot about him. If you notice, I put a center, two wingers and two point guards. So I wasn’t even thinking straight.” Jackson said.
“I apologise to the Denver Nuggets. Also, I apologise to Jokic. He deserved to be among my MVP nominees, as he is one of the best players in history. Anyway, he is among the ten best centers of all time.
“So, I admit my mistake. If you want to forget my vow or anything else, that’s fine. I really messed up. I would still vote for Embiid first. However, Jokic would appear behind Giannis in third. The three deserve recognition.” he added.
Jackson played for 17 years in the NBA. Incidentally, he was the rookie of the year in 1988. Moreover, Jackson was coach of the Golden State Warriors between 2011 and 2014.