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Why Perk believes Domas should be in NBA MVP conversation

Why Perk believes Domas should be in NBA MVP conversation originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Domantas Sabonis is putting up NBA MVP-like numbers in his second full season with the Kings, but his name hasn't been in the discussion for the league's most prestigious individual award.

That concept recently was challenged by former NBA big man-turned-ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins, who questioned why the conversation doesn't include Sabonis based on his stats alone while the panel discussed some of the front-runners for the honor.

"We could make a compelling argument for all of these guys when it comes down to [Nikola] Jokić, when it comes down to [Shai Gilgeous-Alexander] it could come down to Donovan Mitchell, Luka [Dončić]," Perkins said Wednesday on "NBA Today." "All of these guys are going to put up historical numbers in today's game.

"Hell, if we want to make a case, why are we not saying anything about Sabonis?"

Before Perkins could continue, he was met with smirks and the unsettling faces of those on the panel.

At one point, fellow analyst Chiney Ogwumike interrupted and retaliated against Perkins' take.

"Hold on, listen," Perkins continued. "If we're going based on numbers, Sabonis is leading the NBA in triple-doubles, he's also leading the league in double-doubles. The man is averaging 20, 13 and 8."

Despite being mocked by his colleagues -- and a majority of NBA fans on social media after the clip went viral -- Perkins doubled down on his take.

Sabonis is averaging 20 points on 62.1-percent shooting from the field and 42.9 percent from 3-point range in 2023-24, with 13.2 rebounds and 8.5 assists -- nearly all career-highs for the 27-year-old triple-double machine.

He also hasn't missed a game for Sacramento this season, as his reliability and consistency have been a key factor to the team's continued success.

While Sabonis likely won't win the league's top award this season for reasons outside of the numbers, Perkins would like to see the Lithuanian big man get a little more respect for what he's doing on a nightly basis.

And while it might go unnoticed by the average NBA fan, Perkins is here to serve as the wake-up call.