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Media Meltdowns

Denver Post Columnist: Nikola Jokic’s Underwear Shows Why He Deserves MVP

Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets passes the ball during Game Two of the Western Conference Semi-Finals of the 2023 NBA Playoffs against the Phoenix Suns on May 1, 2023 at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Not that long ago, every newspaper in the country would have at least one guy like the Denver Post's Mark Kiszla. A reader in San Antonio or Detroit could be guaranteed a weekly sports column from an eccentric crank who exuded animosity toward his readers and subjects, and wrote in one-sentence paragraphs about one of three topics: Players need to pull up their pants and respect upper managementHere are two completely unrelated news items crammed together, or I am about to make a prediction so wrong that people will laugh at me for years.

The old site we worked for made a lot of hay off these clowns, but as newspapers have been gutted and replaced by gambling-centric sludge, the clown population has dwindled. Kiszla is in his 40th year for the Post, and his latest column about Nikola Jokic, the NBA MVP award, and underpants shows that he's still carrying the torch.

On Tuesday night, Joel Embiid was awarded the 2022-23 NBA MVP, beating out Jokic after the Nuggets big man won two in a row. Kiszla's take was that Embiid's win is the irrational result of "political bickering," and that Jokic should not care about who wins the award when it's been sullied by such a miscarriage of justice. If he had stopped there with jokes about Jokic's horses and head coach Mike Malone's quotes about how what matters is a championship, the column would have been bad but not necessarily remarkable. The Kiszla difference is that he hinges an argument about Jokic's goofiness and thus his worthiness of admiration by "everyday Budweiser-drinking peeps," on Jokic's choice of underwear.

"We all know," Kiszla writes of something we all do not know, "Jokic is the real MVP of Bud-drinking, SpongeBob-loving everyday peeps like you and me." All it takes is "one innocent peek at his underwear." Speak on it, Mark:

I wait so long in Denver’s locker room for Jokic to shower, dress and share his self-deprecating pearls of wisdom after a game, I should probably pay rent. But while cooling my jets, I have learned a thing or two. For example: Your Nuggets center has a wicked funny taste in boxers. Underneath the fine and stylish European attire he wears into the arena, Jokic sports wacky underwear that on any given night colorfully celebrates Budweiser the King of Beers, or might be adorned with the face of SpongeBob SquarePants.

After silencing Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and the grousing Suns, who seem to have a beef with a ref after every whistle, Jokic slipped into silly boxers that proclaimed “That’s what she said” across his booty.

Denver Post

Powerful stuff. If Jokic wears boxers with red cartoon hearts on them to Game 3, it will show that he loves his teammates and deserves to be cheered on because he is selfless. Not every credentialed media member gets locker-room access in the NBA; it's typically reserved for everyday beat reporters or those who attend the majority of games. So it's great to see that Kiszla is using his access so effectively, taking us behind the scenes and under the pants to provide stunning original insights. Kiszla doesn't know ball, but he knows balls.

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