Duncan Honored with MVP Award
Posted May 9 2002 10:43PM
San Antonio forward wins in one of the closest votes ever
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.
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.
ALL-TIME MOST VALUABLE PLAYER WINNERS
CLOSEST MOST VALUABLE PLAYER VOTES
1989-90 (22-point difference)
1996-97 (29-point difference)
1980-81 (31-point difference)
1998-99 (54-point difference)
2001-02 (57-point difference)