It took 12 seasons, but Bryant is finally MVP - presented by Kia Motors
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

NEW YORK, May 6, 2008 -- Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers is the winner of the Maurice Podoloff Trophy as the 2007-08 NBA Most Valuable Player presented by Kia Motors, the NBA announced today.

The 11-year NBA veteran totaled 1,105 points, including 82 first place votes, from a panel of 126 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Players were awarded 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for each second-place vote, five for third, three for fourth and one for each fifth-place vote. Read the full release

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WHAT WE'RE SAYING:'s Rob Peterson: Even off the court, Kobe Bryant knows how to close 'em out

"In a not-as-close-as-I-thought result, on Tuesday Bryant crushed Chris Paul, Kevin Garnett and LeBron James to win his first NBA MVP award. The Lakers swingman nabbed 82 of the 126 available first-place votes, easily outpacing New Orleans' Paul, who had 28 and Boston's Garnett, who had 15. The Cavaliers' James earned one first-place vote."'s John Hareas: Top Five Greatest Players Never to Win NBA MVP

"Well, strike Kobe off the list. For 12 seasons, the question was debated: Was Kobe the greatest player to never win an NBA MVP? Granted, his career is far from over but no doubt up until now, he belonged in the greatest MVP snub discussion along with other Hall of Famers and Laker greats George Mikan, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor. So, now that Kobe is taking home the Maurice Podoloff Trophy (named after the NBA’s first Commissioner), who are the greatest players to never bring home the hardware? Here are the top five."


The Los Angeles Times, May 6: Kobe Bryant's fantastic voyage
"In the depths of the Lean Years from 2004 to 2007, Bryant discovered something new: fear. Once serenely confident of achieving his goals, he felt abandoned and reviled -- 'an outcast my entire life,' he wrote for Dime Magazine -- '[always] made to feel like there was something wrong with wanting to win so badly and wanting to become the best at what you do.'" -- Mark Heisler

The Long Beach Press-Telegram, May 6: L.A. is the city of stars ... and MVP athletes

"We have the stars, baby. The glitz, the glamour, the Hollywood sign, the premiers, Jack sitting courtside, and one other little thing - most sports MVPs in the country. No city has captured more of the top professional awards in the four major sports than Los Angeles. We are just so cool." --Steve Dilbeck

L.A. Daily News, May 3: An MVP feast for Bryant

"The Lakers were eating dinner Friday night in Hollywood when Kobe Bryant got the news. Somebody e-mailed him a link to an Internet story that reported his selection as the NBA's most valuable player. Suddenly, a team-bonding exercise turned into a raucous celebration." -- Elliott Teaford

The Los Angeles Times, April 24: Lakers' Kobe Bryant is fit to be MVP

"In his dozen turbulent years in Los Angeles, Bryant has scored more points and made bigger plays. But I will stake my press pass on the fact that he has never been a better all-around player than on Wednesday night in the Lakers' 122-107 victory over the Nuggets in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series." -- Bill Plaschke

Washington Post, April 15: Bryant Has Best Shot at Elusive MVP

"Bryant did what some thought he was incapable of -- toning down his game to let his team get the glory. 'I think for me to win an MVP [this season] would be special because that's always been the criticism of my game, is that I don't make other guys better,' he said. 'To win that or be in the hunt for that is special because it means people are recognizing that I am making my teammates better.'" -- Michael Lee

Akron Beacon Journal, April 15: LeBron: Bryant deserves MVP

"'I'd give it to Kobe,' James said. 'What he's done this whole year, to carry that team to the No. 1 team in the West right now. He's playing his best basketball all around. I've watched him the whole year. I saw it last summer when I played with him with USA Basketball and the sacrifices he's made for the team and he's done that with the Lakers.'" -- Brian Windhorst

Boston Globe, March 27: Shaq endorses Bryant

"But Shaq being Shaq, well, he isn't going to dodge the issue. So when asked for his thoughts on the MVP race, O'Neal didn't hesitate. 'The Kobester,' he said, referencing his old teammate and occasional foil, Kobe Bryant of the Lakers. 'He's an assassin, with LeBron [James] coming in right behind. After that, I really haven't been paying attention.'" -- Peter May

Chicago Tribune, March 3: Bryant clear leader for NBA MVP award

"Bryant has been terrific and deserving, surpassing career averages in field goal and three-point shooting, steals, assists and rebounds. He's taking fewer shots than at any time in his previous six seasons but is second in the league in scoring (to James), averaging 28.2 points per game. His rebounding (6.0) is his best in five years (6.9 in 2002-03), his field-goal shooting (46 percent) is his highest in six years (47 in 2001-02), steals (2.0) second most in his career (2.2 in '02-03). And he's doing much of this with a finger on his shooting hand that doctors say needs surgery." -- Sam Smith


NBC Sports, April 16: No debating it: Kobe deserves MVP
"It is a bit annoying that so many people have this wrong, the general definition of wrong being if you disagree with me. But in this case, it's not only time for Bryant to receive his first ever MVP. It is wholly justified." -- Sam Smith, April 11: Stein Line's Season-Ending Award Ballots

"For all of Paul's undeniable brilliance -- and for all of you who can't wait to angrily dismiss this as a lifetime achievement award for the guy considered the best player to never win an MVP award -- I'm sorry. But Bryant had to deal with and do more this season than even CP3. Bryant has seen more double- and triple-teams and junk defenses. He's endured a far lower grade of overall team health; Andrew Bynum will end up having played less than half the season and Pau Gasol has missed 11 games just since his Feb. 1 arrival in Los Angeles. Kobe has also played through a hand injury of his own that still requires surgery and is asked by his coach and teammates to be All-NBA at both ends, all while shouldering higher expectations than those of any other player in the league." -- Marc Stein, March 21: Kobe's making moments, gaining MVP momentum

"For an award as subjective as most valuable player, sometimes you need to rely less on statistical analysis and more on visceral feelings. The numbers say LeBron James should be the NBA's MVP. The standard definition of the best player on the best team leads you to Kevin Garnett. But there are times when the MVP award is captured in a moment. And no one does moments like Kobe Bryant." -- J.A. Adande

Sports Illustrated, February 28: Kobe has edge over LeBron

"He is still one of the game's top scorers (27.8 points, along with 6.1 rebounds and 5.4 assists), but he has found a way to mesh his skills with newcomer Pau Gasol and the rest of his cast to vault the Lakers to the top of the Western Conference standings. Kobe's defense, which had slipped a bit in recent years, has returned to its old nasty form. His leadership has been good. He has played hurt." --Marty Burns


L.A. Times Lakers Blog: It'll soon become official
SLAM Online: Media Folk Finally Concede that Kobe is Valuable
AOL Sports: Kobe Takes Care of Teammates
Forum Blue and Gold: Kobe Is MVP