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Duncan Is MVP, Again

May 05, 2003|Elliott Teaford | Times Staff Writer

SAN ANTONIO — The NBA made official Sunday afternoon what everyone knew a day earlier, naming San Antonio Spur forward Tim Duncan the league's most valuable player for the second consecutive season.

Duncan received 962 votes, including 60 of a possible 119 first-place votes, from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves was second with 871 votes, with Kobe Bryant of the Lakers third (496), Orlando's Tracy McGrady fourth (427) and the Lakers' Shaquille O'Neal fifth (126).

"I think I was probably as solid as I was last year," said Duncan, the first player to repeat as league MVP since Michael Jordan in 1991 and '92 and only the eighth player in league history to win the award in consecutive seasons. "I think our team did better. I had to do a few different things this year. It's unbelievable. Every year I wanted to get a little bit better. Every year I wanted to add something to my game."

ABC's Mike Tirico interviewed Duncan on Sunday as part of the league's made-for-television MVP announcement.

Earlier, after the Spurs' workout, center David Robinson praised Duncan for his quiet devotion.

"The fans and media don't know much about him," Robinson said. "[Winning the award in consecutive seasons] says a lot about his game. He's not flashy. I get amazed by his game night in and night out."

Duncan averaged 23.3 points in 81 games this season, down from 25.5 in 2001-02. But he also averaged career bests of 12.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.9 blocks.

When he scored his 10,000th point March 21 against the Timberwolves, he became the 13th-fastest in league history to record that many points and take 5,000 or more rebounds. Duncan, 27, is in his sixth season in the NBA.


Forward Bruce Bowen laughed when someone asked if he expected Duncan to purchase rings for his teammates as thank-you presents for helping him win his second consecutive MVP award.

"Tim's not really a rings kind of guy," Bowen said. "Have you seen how he dresses? Maybe he'll buy us a cake. Maybe a pound cake or maybe something from the islands. Here, have a coconut, Bruce."

Duncan hails from the Virgin Islands.


Guard Tony Parker has taken heat from teammates after appearing in People magazine's list of the world's 50 most beautiful people.

Bowen figured it was the only way Parker could get a conversation started with Halle Berry, who also is on the list. "He could say, 'Hey, Halle, remember when we were on the list together?' " Bowen said. "Much easier than if he said, 'Halle, we had the same teacher in elementary school.' "

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