Mark Jackson May 20, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; ESPN analyst Mark Jackson during game three of the Western Conference Finals for the 2023 NBA playoffs between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After Nikola Jokić was unanimously awarded NBA Finals MVP, Mark Jackson hilariously gave himself a pat on the back for getting the vote right.

Jokić fell short in winning his third consecutive regular season MVP award, which went to Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid. While there was no shame in voting for Embiid, there was shame in forgetting to vote for Jokić, as Jackson did.

Jackson infamously left Jokić off his regular season MVP ballot, fueling narratives that the national media has long neglected the Denver Nuggets and their superstar center. But as the regular season MVP award sparked national debate, there was no arguing Jokić was the most valuable and best player during the NBA Finals. And this time, Jackson wouldn’t forget about Jokić’s blatantly obvious candidacy for the award.

“I’m just so glad I got my MVP vote right this time,” Jackson joked during the ESPN on ABC broadcast as the Nuggets celebrated their first championship in franchise history. “I can go home and sleep peacefully.”

Jackson was one of 11 voters for the NBA Finals MVP award, with each one selecting Jokić for the honor. The former coach and current ESPN analyst didn’t really have a choice this time, as there was no other legitimate candidate for Finals MVP.

Jackson could have mocked the award altogether and leaned into the initial blunder by leaving Jokić off his ballot again. But Jackson already acknowledged snubbing Jokić in the regular season MVP race was an honest mistake. Even with that, it’s still one he won’t live down easily from Nuggets fans.


About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to