Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls will be named the National Basketball Association’s Most Valuable Player today, the youngest winner of the league’s top individual award, the Chicago Tribune reported.
At 22 years, 7 months, Rose is about five months younger than Wes Unseld, who claimed the honor in 1969 with the Baltimore Bullets to start a Hall of Fame career, the Tribune said, citing unidentified people.
He also is the first Bulls player to win the award since Michael Jordan won for the fifth time in 1997-98.
Rose, a guard in his third season in the NBA, is the first player since Dave Cowens in 1973 to become MVP after receiving no votes the previous year, the Tribune said.
Rose led the Bulls with an average of 25 points in 81 regular-season games this year, with Chicago producing the league’s best record, 62-20.
The Bulls lost 103-95 to the Atlanta Hawks last night in the opening game of their second-round playoff series, with Rose scoring 24 points. He left the court limping after injuring his ankle on the closing play. The Bulls host the Hawks in Game 2 tomorrow night.
Rose, the No. 1 pick in the 2008 draft and the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2008-09, is the first player since Dave Cowens in 1973 to become MVP after receiving no votes the previous year, the Chicago Tribune said.
He’s also the seventh MVP to average at least 25 points, 7.5 assists and four rebounds in a season, after Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Larry Bird, Jordan, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. Rose averaged 7.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game this season.
For his career, Rose has averaged 20.9 points, 6.7 assists and 3.9 rebounds.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau was named Coach of the Year two days ago after guiding Chicago to a league-best 62-20 record in his first season as a head coach.
Thibodeau, 53, became the seventh first-year coach to win the Red Auerbach Trophy and the fourth Bulls coach to claim the award. The most recent previous winner was Phil Jackson in 1996, when the Bulls went on to win the NBA Finals for the fourth time in six years. The other Chicago winners were Johnny Kerr in 1967 and Dick Motta four years later.
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