Nowitzki voted NBA MVP

From the Associated Press

Dirk Nowitzki has been chosen as the NBA’s most valuable player for leading the Dallas Mavericks to one of the best regular seasons in league history, a team official told the Associated Press on Friday.

The formal announcement will come Tuesday, said the team official, who requested anonymity because the announcement is pending.

Nowitzki and the Mavericks went from a league-best 67 wins to a surprising first-round elimination by eighth-seeded Golden State.

Voting was done before the playoffs. The story was first reported Thursday by


Nowitzki becomes the first MVP in 25 years not to win a single playoff series -- it last happened to Houston’s Moses Malone in 1981-82.

That failure is likely to be remembered more than the fact that Nowitzki, a German, is the first European honoree, and the first not to have attended a U.S. high school or college.

Nowitzki’s victory also ends the two-year reign of his good friend and former teammate Steve Nash of Phoenix. After blossoming into star players together in Dallas, one of them has been the MVP all three seasons since they’ve been separated.

Nowitzki earned it this time by being the best player on the best team, leading the Mavericks in scoring (24.6 points a game) and rebounding (8.9).