Derrick Rose named youngest ever NBA MVP

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CHICAGO May 4 – Derrick Rose was named the NBA Most Valuable Player on Tuesday, becoming at 22 the youngest player to receive the coveted award.

CHICAGO May 4 – Derrick Rose was named the NBA Most Valuable Player on Tuesday, becoming at 22 the youngest player to receive the coveted award.

The NBA confirmed the widely expected honor, with which Rose joins legendary Michael Jordan as the only Bulls players to earn MVP honors.

Rose, who guided the Bulls to the best regular-season record in the league, received 113 first-place votes from a panel of media voters.

Orlando’s Dwight Howard finished second, Miami’s LeBron James was third, the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant was fourth and Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant finished fifth.

Rose is in his third NBA season with the Bulls and will be presented with the award when Chicago host Atlanta in game two of their Eastern Conference second-round playoff series.

"Very proud. He’s earned it," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Tuesday. "Thrilled for him. He’s been everything you could ask for in a leader, player, and he’s only going to get better."

Jordan was named league MVP five times, the last time in 1998. Now the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, Jordan said during the season that Rose deserved the award.

Rose ended the two-year MVP reign of LeBron James, who rejected the Bulls and departed Cleveland to join fellow free agent stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.

Rose also supplanted Wes Unseld as the youngest MVP. Unseld was 23 when he was named rookie of the year and MVP with the Baltimore Bullets for the 1968-69 season.

The top pick in the 2008 draft and rookie of the year, Rose started the All-Star Game for the first time this year after making the team as a reserve last season. He averaged 25 points, 7.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds.

"I think it’s great. I think he’s very well-deserving," Rose’s Joakim Noah said. "I think it’s a situation where everybody knows it’s his.

"It’s not like somebody else deserves it. It’s for him and I’m happy for him, but there’s really no time to celebrate it right now. We’re in a dogfight against Atlanta."

The Hawks swooped in and won game one of the second-round series on Monday.

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