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  • Thursday, 29 February 2024
ESPN analyst hints at notion Nikola Jokic has won MVPs, is favorite to win again because he's white

ESPN analyst hints at notion Nikola Jokic has won MVPs, is favorite to win again because he's white

ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith is facing backlash after suggesting that Denver Nuggets player Nikola Jokic might have won the NBA's Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in previous years because he is white. Jokic, who is from Serbia, won the award for the first time last season.

During a segment on ESPN's "First Take," Smith said, "Let me be very, very clear: I'm not accusing anybody of anything. I'm just saying that there have been times when guys have won the MVP that clearly didn't deserve it. And it was because of things that, you know, frankly, I don't think Nikola Jokic would get it this year, because I think a lot of people are looking at him and saying, 'Okay, he got it last year, he's white, there's no way in hell he's getting it again.'"

Smith's comments were met with criticism on social media, with many accusing him of making a racist remark. Some pointed out that Jokic is not the first white player to win the award, and that several non-black players, including Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash, have won it in the past.

Jokic, who is currently averaging 26.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 8.4 assists per game, is considered one of the top candidates for the MVP award this season. Other contenders include Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers and LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.

In other sports news, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced that the Tokyo Olympics will be held without international spectators due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was made after discussions with the Japanese government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the International Paralympic Committee, and other stakeholders.

"We share the disappointment of all enthusiastic Olympic fans from around the world, and of course the families and friends of the athletes, who were planning to come to the Games," said IOC President Thomas Bach. "For this reason, we have put in place a series of measures to help them be part of the Olympic experience remotely."

The decision is a blow to Japan, which had hoped to use the Olympics as a way to showcase its recovery from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The country has already spent more than $15 billion on the Games, and many businesses were counting on an influx of tourists to boost their sales.

The Olympics, which were originally scheduled for 2020, were postponed due to the pandemic. The event is now set to take place from July 23 to August 8, with the Paralympics to follow from August 24 to September 5. The games will be held under strict health and safety protocols, including daily COVID-19 testing for athletes and frequent disinfection of venues.

ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith is facing backlash after suggesting that Denver Nuggets player Nikola Jokic might have won the NBA's Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in previous years because he is white. Jokic, who is from Serbia, won the award for the first time last season.

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