Stern will make the official presentation to Lakers star next week.
L.A. Times: It took 12 seasons, but Kobe Bryant has finally been selected the NBA’s most valuable player, The Times has learned.
Sources familiar with the outcome who were not authorized to speak publicly about the award until the official announcement from the league said Commissioner David Stern will be in Los Angeles next week to present the trophy to Bryant.
The award, selected by NBA writers and broadcasters, figured to go to either Bryant or New Orleans guard Chris Paul, who guided the Hornets to second place in the Western Conference in the regular season.
Bryant’s season capped a massive turnaround from a tumultuous off-season in which he asked to be traded.
The Lakers went from shaky preseason forecasts to winning the top spot in the West, finishing 57-25 in one of the most grueling regular-season races in league history. The Lakers then swept Denver in the first round of the playoffs, with Bryant averaging 33.5 points a game in the series, although the votes had already been cast by then.
Bryant, 29, lost a little in the scoring column during the regular season, falling from 31.6 points a game last season to 28.3 during the 2007-08 season, but his defense was notably better and he averaged 6.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists, numbers that were tied for the second- and fourth-best outputs of his career.
He also deferred to teammates much more than in the last few seasons and rarely forced his will on games, a trait that saddled him in the past.