NEW YORK, May 9 -- In one of the closest votes in NBA history, the San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan was named Thursday as the winner of the Maurice Podoloff Trophy as the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for the 2001-02 season.

Duncan totaled 954 points and received 57 first-place votes to outdistance the New Jersey Nets’ Jason Kidd who collected 897 points and 45 first-place votes. The 57-point difference was the fifth-closest vote since the NBA went to media voting for the 1980-81 season. The Los Angeles Lakers’ Shaquille O’Neal finished third with 696 points and 15 first-place votes while the Orlando Magic’s Tracy McGrady stood fourth with 390 points and seven first-place votes.

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In his MVP season, Duncan ranked in the NBA’s top 10 in five major statistical categories.
Andrew D. Bernstein
NBAE/Getty Images
Duncan led the Spurs to 58 wins en route to their third Midwest Division title during his five-year NBA career. He was the second San Antonio Spurs player to win the MVP, joining teammate David Robinson who captured the Maurice Podoloff Trophy as the MVP for the 1994-95 season.

After averaging 25.5 points, 12.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.48 blocks in 82 games this season, Duncan was selected to the All-NBA First Team for the fifth consecutive season, becoming just the sixth player in NBA history to be named First Team in each of his first five seasons. He joins this elite club of Elgin Baylor, Larry Bird, George Mikan, Bob Pettit and Oscar Robertson.

During the 2001-02 season, Duncan ranked in the NBA’s top ten in five major statistical categories (fifth in scoring, second in rebounding, third in blocks, ninth in FG percentage and sixth in minutes played). He also led the NBA in field goals made, free throws made and double-doubles with 67.

Duncan became only the fifth player since 1972-73 to rank in the top five for one season in scoring, rebounding and blocks – joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Patrick Ewing, Hakeem Olajuwon and Shaquille O’Neal.

A six-time recipient of the NBA’s Western Conference Player of the Week Award and three-time winner of the NBA’s Western Conference Player of the Month Award this season, Duncan scored 30 or more points 20 times and 20 or more 72 times during the 2001-02 season. He posted his career-high 53 points on Dec. 26 vs. the Dallas Mavericks.

Voted by fans to start in this year’s All-Star Game, Duncan played in his fourth midseason classic, scoring 14 points and grabbing 14 rebounds in a 135-120 West victory on Feb. 10 at Philadelphia’s First Union Center.

Duncan won the Podoloff Trophy after finishing four previous times in the top five of the MVP voting – finishing second last season, third in 1998-99 and fifth in 1997-98 and 1999-2000.

Along with the 2001-02 MVP Award, Duncan has also collected the 1997-98 Rookie of the Year, the 1999 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, the co-MVP of the 2000 NBA All-Star Game and the 2001-02 NBA IBM Award during his NBA career.

The 126-member voting panel consisted of 39 national media members and three media members who regularly cover each of the NBA’s 29 teams. Media voted for five MVP candidates in order of preference. Points were awarded on a 10-7-5-3-1 basis.

The MVP trophy is named in honor of the late Maurice Podoloff, the first commissioner of the NBA who served from 1946 until his retirement in 1963.

2001-02 MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AWARD VOTING RESULTS
PlayerTeam1st 2nd3rd4th5th Pts
Tim DuncanSan Antonio57 382053 954
Jason KiddNew Jersey45 412693 897
Shaquille O'NealL.A. Lakers15 3840255 696
Tracy McGradyOrlando7 5284510 390
Kobe BryantL.A. Lakers1 141516 98
Gary PaytonSeattle1 11517 54
Chris WebberSacramento0 11510 37
Dirk NowitzkiDallas0 01414 31
Allen IversonPhiladelphia0 01412 29
Ben WallaceDetroit0 0288 24
Paul PierceBoston0 01114 22
Kevin GarnettMinnesota0 0038 17
Michael JordanWashington0 1111 16
Steve NashDallas0 0012 5
Jerry StackhouseDetroit0 0010 3
Elton BrandL.A. Clippers0 0001 1
Mike BibbySacramento0 0001 1
Predrag StojakovicSacramento0 0001 1

ALL-TIME MOST VALUABLE PLAYER WINNERS
1955-56 Bob Pettit, St. Louis
1956-57 Bob Cousy, Boston
1957-58 Bill Russell, Boston
1958-59 Bob Pettit, St. Louis
1959-60 Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia
1960-61 Bill Russell, Boston
1961-62 Bill Russell, Boston
1962-63 Bill Russell, Boston
1963-64 Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati
1964-65 Bill Russell, Boston
1965-66 Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia
1966-67 Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia
1967-68 Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia
1968-69 Wes Unseld, Baltimore
1969-70 Willis Reed, New York
1970-71 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee
1971-72 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee
1972-73 Dave Cowens, Boston
1973-74 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee
1974-75 Bob McAdoo, Buffalo
1975-76 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, L.A.Lakers
1976-77 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, L.A.Lakers
1977-78 Bill Walton, Portland
1978-79 Moses Malone, Houston
1979-80 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, L.A. Lakers
1980-81 Julius Erving, Philadelphia
1981-82 Moses Malone, Houston
1982-83 Moses Malone, Philadelphia
1983-84 Larry Bird, Boston
1984-85 Larry Bird, Boston
1985-86 Larry Bird, Boston
1986-87 Magic Johnson, L.A. Lakers
1987-88 Michael Jordan, Chicago
1988-89 Magic Johnson, L.A. Lakers
1989-90 Magic Johnson, L.A. Lakers
1990-91 Michael Jordan, Chicago
1991-92 Michael Jordan, Chicago
1992-93 Charles Barkley, Phoenix
1993-94 Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston
1994-95 David Robinson, San Antonio
1995-96 Michael Jordan, Chicago
1996-97 Karl Malone, Utah
1997-98 Michael Jordan, Chicago
1998-99 Karl Malone, Utah
1999-00 Shaquille O’Neal, L.A. Lakers
2000-01 Allen Iverson, Philadelphia
2001-02 Tim Duncan, San Antonio

CLOSEST MOST VALUABLE PLAYER VOTES
(Player, Team, Points, First-Place Votes)

1989-90 (22-point difference)
Magic Johnson, L.A. Lakers, 636, 27
Charles Barkley, Philadelphia, 614, 38

1996-97 (29-point difference)
Karl Malone, Utah, 986, 63
Michael Jordan, Chicago, 957, 52

1980-81 (31-point difference)
Julius Erving, Philadelphia, 454, 28
Larry Bird, Boston, 423, 20

1998-99 (54-point difference)
Karl Malone, Utah, 827, 44
Alonzo Mourning, Miami, 773, 36

2001-02 (57-point difference)
Tim Duncan, San Antonio, 954, 57
Jason Kidd, New Jersey, 897, 45