Were Kendrick Perkins' comments really the reason that Nikola Jokic didn't win MVP?

Everyone is talking today about how Kendrick Perkins has changed course and is a big fan of Nikola Jokic now. This comes after Perk caused controversy when he called Jokic a stat padder and insinuated that the press favored white players like Dirk Nowitski, Steve Nash, and Jokic. In Perk's opinion Joel Embiid should be the MVP. After Perk's comments Jokic lost his grip as the frontrunner for the MVP and despite the Nuggets ending up with the West's best record, Joel Embiid captured the 2022-23 MVP award. And by a pretty significant margin at that. Embiid's 76ers failed to make it past the second round (Embiid has never made it past the 2nd round) while Jokic's Nuggets advanced to the NBA Finals.

When I searched on Twitter for "Perkins Jokic" it returns tweet after tweet of people blaming Perk for Jokic not winning this year's MVP. So the question is, do you think Perk's comments had enough influence to swing voting? Did MVP voters fear that if they voted for Jokic, they might be called "racist," so just voted Embiid to avoid that potential?

I mean the voting ended up not even being close, so it would have meant like 30 or 40 voters would have had to change their minds from Jokic to either Embiid or Giannis to swing the vote. There was also the sentiment of voter fatigue where the press wanted to give someone new the award. My guess is that had as much if not more influence than Perk's racism calls had. Do I believe that Perk changed some votes? Yes, but that's as much if not more on the voters for being influenced. If you're scared to vote for who you think should be MVP based on their color of their skin then you shouldn't have a vote.

One think that appears to be true is that Perkins didn't watch enough of Jokic's game to realize just how good he is. Now he knows, but don't expect a mea culpa for his race comments from the past. Sports media is all about hot and controversial takes nowadays and whether the takes have merit doesn't matter. It's about engagement sadly. Perkins is just following the same playbook that the Stephen A. Smith's Skip Bayless's and Colin Cowherd's of the world have "mastered."