Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose is the youngest Most Valuable Player award-winner in the history of the NBA.
The 22-year-old Rose was officially announced as season MVP on Tuesday after leading the Bulls to a 62-20 record and No. 1 seed throughout the playoffs.
Rose finished with 113 first-place votes and 1,182 total points. Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard finished second with three first-place votes and 643 points, Miami Heat’s LeBron James was third with 522 points, including four first-place votes, and Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant was fourth with 428 points and one first-place vote.
The Bulls point guard had a breakout third season, averaging 25 points, 7.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds.
He will be honored before Wednesday’s Game 2 against the Atlanta Hawks at the United Center.
“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.”
Rose, the No. 1 pick in the 2008 draft and rookie of the year, started his first All-Star Game this year after making the team as a reserve last season.
He led Chicago to a league-best record in the regular season with two of their big men missing significant time with injuries — Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah. His fellow starting guard Keith Bogans averaged just 4.4 points per game but still, the Bulls never lost more than two games in a row.
Rose ranked seventh in scoring and 10th in assists, making him the only player this season in the top 10 in both categories. The only other Bulls player to do that was Michael Jordan in 1988-89 season, when he led the league in scoring (32.5 points) and finished 10th in assists.
Throw in a 4.1 rebounding average, and Rose joins another elite group. He’s the seventh player in league history to average at least 25 points, 7.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds, along with Jordan, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Larry Bird, Dwayne Wade and James.
With the way he led his team and the statistical accomplishment he had this season, Rose certainly deserves to be named MVP.
Congratulations Mr. Rose!
Notes: Prior to Rose, Jordan was the last Bulls player to win the award, who won it five times, the latest in 1998.
Rose and Tom Thibodeau became the 12th player-coach combo to win MVP and Coach of the Year awards. Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich accomplished the same feat for the San Antonio Spurs in 2002-03 season.