These playoffs, Jokic simply continues to show why he's one of the greatest centers of his generation. Even during their 111-108 defeat in Game 2 against the Miami Heat, Jokic scored 41 points on 57% shooting while grabbing 11 boards and four assists. In these playoffs, Jokic has averaged a triple-double: 30.4 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 10.1 assists per game. No player in NBA history has ever done that.
It's crazy to believe that fans are only recognizing Nikola Jokic now on the biggest stage of basketball when he's really been doing this for the past five years. Why are casual fans not getting enough of Jokic the way they should be with the way he's playing?
Pat McAfee asked the same questions to Perk on The Pat McAfee Show, and he explains why the media continues to disrespect Jokic:
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) June 5, 2023
“He is one of the best players in the league. He's the most skilled center to ever touch the damn basketball,” Perkins says.
Kendrick Perkins would go on to say that it's the media doing a poor job of marketing Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets that's causing the disrespect.
“We are to blame. And that's us as the media, us at the network, ESPN, because we should do a better job of promoting and marketing him. And he should be on television because if you want to show someone how to play basketball the correct way, you've got to show them Jokic. When you're talking about IQ, when you're talking about straight skill, Jokic is a guy that you're supposed to be watching. We shouldn't have to be waiting for the NBA Finals to be able to appreciate Jokic [and the Nuggets]. Like, we gotta do a better job of actually marketing him. Less talk about the Lakers and LeBron James and Jayson Tatum and more talk about Jokic.”
Perkins has a point here. Even as the NBA world takes a day off from these Finals, much of the focus is not on talking about Miami stealing a game in Denver. Instead, the media is going crazy on a rumor that LeBron is being recruited by Kyrie Irving to go to the Dallas Mavericks.
Of course, Perkins should share some of the blame in this situation. After all, it was Perkins who suggested race had something to do with Jokic possibly winning three straight MVPs, though Joel Embiid wound up winning.
Perhaps if Jokic and the Nuggets bounce from the Game 2 loss and win the championship this year, the media can finally give him his flowers. They just need three more.