SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan, among the NBA's leaders in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots, has won the league's Most Valuable Player award, a league source said Monday.
The five-year veteran outpolled New Jersey Nets guard Jason Kidd by a narrow margin, the source said on condition of anonymity.
Voting by a panel of 126 media members took place before the playoffs began.
Duncan's selection will be made public at a Thursday news conference in San Antonio, the San Antonio Express-News reported on its Web site late Monday afternoon.
Duncan is scheduled to be honored on Friday at the Alamodome, prior to Game Three of the best-of-seven series between the Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers won the first game of the Western Conference semifinals on Sunday in the Staples Center, with Game Two to be played today.
"Honestly, it's not of great importance right now," Duncan told reporters in Los Angeles after Monday's practice. "The important thing is the game tomorrow and winning that one. The (MVP award) will take care of itself."
Duncan led the Spurs to the Midwest Division title for the third time in four years while posting career bests in several categories.
He was fifth in the NBA in scoring at 25.5 points per game and second in rebounding at 12.7. He also averaged nearly four assists and blocked 2.48 shots (third in NBA) while playing about 41 minutes.
Duncan led the league with 67 double-doubles, and was voted to the All-NBA first team for the fifth time in as many seasons. He was also selected for the All-Defensive first team for the fourth straight year.
Last week Duncan left the Spurs for several days when his 71-year-old father William died after a long illness.
Without him, the Seattle SuperSonics soundly beat the Spurs to even their first-round playoff series at 2-2, but in the deciding Game 5, Duncan returned to an emotional reception and paced San Antonio to a 101-78 victory that moved the Spurs to the second round.