Bomani Jones

One of the most talked-about segments in sports media in recent weeks was the multi-day argument between ESPN’s JJ Redick and Kendrick Perkins over the NBA MVP and the role that race plays in voting.

On an episode of First TakePerkins alleged that NBA MVP voters were racially biased against the league’s Black players. Redick fired back, saying that Perkins was being selective with his data and creating a narrative that didn’t exist.

The whole argument garnered plenty of reactions. Charles Barkley said that Perkins was suffering from “ESPN disease” while Dan Le Batard found the whole thing to be “a pretty empty, meaningless, useless race discussion.”

On the latest episode of HBO’s Game Theory, Bomani Jones joked that he was happy he wasn’t in the studio when the whole fracas went down, but he did offer some advice to Redick about launching into arguments over race with a Black person.

“If you try to make the argument that something doesn’t involve race, might not be the best look to talk over a Black man on live television, tell him his argument was flat-out wrong, and cut him off over and over again,” Jones said.

Jones added that Redick’s critique of Perkins could have invited support from certain circles that the ESPN analyst might not want.

“You’re acting like Perk’s crazy for bringing it up. That’s what’s crazy. This is America, Jack. And I get that Perk and JJ are just talking about the NBA MVP. But chastising us for saying something might be racist in the land where racism was perfected, that’s how you get pats on the back from folks I know JJ Redick does not want on his side,” Jones said.

Jones stopped short of saying Perkins was entirely right, however, especially when it comes to MVP front-runner Nikola Jokić.

“I see why somebody might wonder even though the solution to the confusion is pretty easy. Just watch that big ornery sum***** play basketball.” Jones said. “I don’t understand how that guy does those things either. But he does! And that ends the discussion.”


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to