Ever since Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid was announced as the winner of the 2022-23 NBA MVP award, the basketball world has been wondering who was the lone MVP voter to leave Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić off their top-five ballot altogether.
Turns out, it was ESPN NBA analyst Mark Jackson. The full list of MVP voters was leaked on Thursday and it showed that Jackson’s top five were, in order, Embiid, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, Boston’s Jayson Tatum, OKC’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell.
While many around the NBA world were expected to find out that Jackson purposefully left Jokić off his ballot for some reason, the former NBA player and coach said Thursday that it was just an “absolute mistake.”
“Mistake,” Jackson told Justin Termine on SiriusXM’s NBA Today. “And one thing I live by, you make a mistake, you own it. I’m not a guy that does it for clicks or be trending. Absolute mistake made by me.
“So, I own it. If you want to take away my vote, or do whatever, you’re more than welcome. I made a mistake. He deserves, in my opinion, clearly…I would have still voted for Joel Embiid to be MVP but with Giannis and Jokić second and third. They deserve that.”
It’s a strange mistake to make given how good Jokić has been and he was clearly one of the three best players in the NBA this past season. While Jackson was hoping for some positive feedback from his apology, he didn’t seem to get much of it on social media.
Yeah man, I think it’s probably a good idea to take away his vote. https://t.co/78P3DmamuL
— Springtime for Passion (@i_thompson14) May 11, 2023
Shouldn’t be allowed to vote anymore! https://t.co/31KRia3Get
— Kevin Kissner (@KissnerRadio) May 11, 2023
I think everyone can agree that there’s no room for this in today’s NBA.
It’s unsightly & irresponsible. https://t.co/Zr3kmOc3nz
— Marc Moser TV (@RadioMoser) May 11, 2023
Mama, there goes that man(‘s vote if we lived in a proper society) https://t.co/EBfXdv2JW5
— Brett Kane (@BrettKaneRadio) May 11, 2023