Kobe Bryant named NBA's Most Valuable Player
poolparty | May 6, 2008 at 04:02 pmby
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Kobe Bryant has been named the NBA’s MVP this year. This marks the first time Kobe has been given the award. He is the first Laker to win the MVP award since Shaquille O'Neal. Last years award went to Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks.
Finally, an MVP award for Kobe Bryant. Regarded as the NBA's best player for several years but never its most valuable, Bryant earned the honor at last on Tuesday after leading the Los Angeles Lakers to the best record in the Western Conference. He called the award a blessing and an honor and emphasized that he wants another trophy this year.
"It's Hollywood, it's a movie script. The perfect ending would be for us to hold a championship trophy at the end of it," Bryant said at a news conference attended by his teammates, club officials, his wife and two daughters.
"This is an award I couldn't have won on my own. I can't thank these guys (his teammates) enough. These are my guys, these are my brothers. Let's get ready for tomorrow."
The Lakers try to take a 2-0 lead against Utah in their conference semifinal on Wednesday night. Bryant will receive the MVP trophy from commissioner David Stern before the game.
Bryant entered the season as the league's two-time defending scoring champion. He had finished as high as third in the MVP voting twice — after the 2002-03 season, when he averaged 30 points for the first time, and last year when Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki won.
"I don't know anybody who's ever deserved this trophy more. I don't know anybody who's ever worked as hard to accomplish what he's accomplished," said Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who had five-time MVP Michael Jordan with Chicago and was at the Lakers' helm when Shaquille O'Neal won the award in 2000.
Bryant received 82-first-place votes and 1,105 points in the media vote. He was followed by New Orleans' Chris Paul (28 and 889), Boston's Kevin Garnett (15 and 670) and Cleveland's LeBron James (1 and 438).
"I've said since two, three years ago that Kobe Bryant is the best player in the league," James said before the Cavaliers faced the Celtics in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series. "He's been the best player the last five, six years. I'm glad he won it. His team had a great year, finishing first in the West."
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