SAN ANTONIO David Robinson wasn't surprised Tim Duncan won the NBA's Most Valuable Player award for a second straight year. Not after the way the Spurs forward played in San Antonio's first-round playoff series against Phoenix.
The 7-foot Duncan was double-teamed and sometimes even triple-teamed by the scrappy Suns almost every time he touched the ball. And while his scoring was less than usual, the Spurs forward still helped his team win.
In the clinching Game 6 Thursday, Duncan posted a triple-double -- 15 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists -- despite all of the defensive attention.
"He may be the smartest player in the league," said Robinson, who was the league's MVP in 1995. "He takes whatever you give him. If you're going to play him up on his jumpshot, he'll drive. If you're going to play back, he'll shoot the jumpshot. That's what makes him MVP."
While the award will not officially be announced until today, league sources confirmed to The Associated Press Saturday that the 27-year-old Duncan was selected from a large group of worthy candidates.
Duncan chose to not speak with reporters Saturday in San Antonio, but his teammates had nothing but praise for him.
"Tim is so important to this team," starting guard Stephen Jackson said. "He comes to play every night -- I think that's the definition of an MVP, (a player) who comes out and continues to help his team, brings the energy and the same contribution to his team every night."
Duncan led the Spurs to an NBA-best 60-22 record while averaging 23.3 points, 12.9 rebounds and nearly three blocks a game.
Others in contention for the award included Minnesota's Kevin Garnett, Orlando's Tracy McGrady and Allen Iverson of Philadelphia.