BRYANT WINS MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AWARD • Latino Sports

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BRYANT WINS MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AWARD

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And the winner of the 2007-08 NBA MVP.NEW YORK 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.

As part of its support of the Most Valuable Player Award, Kia Motors will donate a brand-new 2009 Kia Borrego seven-passenger SUV on behalf of Bryant to the East L.A. Boys and Girls Club. Kia Motors presented a Borrego to the charity of choice of each of the four year-end 2007-08 award winners as part of the “The NBA Performance Awards Presented by Kia Motors.”

Rounding out the top five in voting for this season’s award were New Orleans’ Chris Paul (889 points), Boston’s Kevin Garnett (670 points), Cleveland’s LeBron James (438 points) and Orlando’s Dwight Howard (60 points).

Bryant finished the season ranked second in the league in scoring at 28.3 ppg, having shot .459 from the field, .840 from the free-throw line and .361 from three-point range. In addition, Bryant added 6.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.8 steals per game. The 6-6 guard led the Lakers to the best record in the Western Conference (57-25, .695), a 15-game improvement over last year (42-40, .512), and the franchise’s 19th Pacific Division title.

Bryant is the youngest player in NBA history to score 20,000 career points and the 16th player in league history to tally 21,000 points and 4,000 assists. This season, Bryant moved past 12 players on the all-time scoring list, including Hall of Famers George Gervin, Bob Pettit, Walt Bellamy and Hal Greer, to 24th all-time. Bryant was named NBA Western Conference Player of the Week three times (Jan. 14, March 3, April 7) and NBA Western Conference Player of the Month presented by Kia Motors twice this season (February, April).

The NBA 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.

The 2007-08 NBA Most Valuable Player of the Year Award presented by Kia Motors is part of a series of on-court performance awards called “The NBA Performance Awards Presented by Kia Motors.” The awards, which are part of a multi-year marketing partnership between Kia Motors America and the NBA, also include the Most Improved Player, Sixth Man Award, and Defensive Player. The series also includes the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month presented by Kia Motors. For more information on the “The NBA Performance Awards Presented by Kia Motors” visit www.NBA.com/performanceawards.

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