In one of the worst-kept secrets in NBA history, Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves was officially named Most Valuable Player yesterday, easily beating two-time winner Tim Duncan and Jermaine O'Neal.
The Associated Press reported Sunday, citing sources, that Garnett would win the honor.
Garnett received 120 of 123 first-place votes in balloting by the Pro Basketball Writers' Association for 1,219 points. San Antonio's Duncan got 716 points, while Indiana's O'Neal had 523.
Garnett averaged 24.2 points and 13.9 rebounds. He joined Larry Bird as the only players to average at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists for five consecutive years.
Garnett credited team vice president Kevin McHale, who played with Bird for the Celtics.
"This is best situation I could ever think of, or dream of," Garnett said. "I had to believe I could get there, because of him and his belief in me."
Videos draw fine
The Dallas Mavericks were fined $25,000 for showing videos to fans in their arena that ridiculed the Kings' Chris Webber and Doug Christie. Among the videos was a cartoon depicting Webber being showered with money at the University of Michigan and Christie being led on a leash by his wife. Webber last year pleaded guilty to lying to a grand jury about his association with a former Michigan basketball booster. Christie often gestures to his wife during games . . . Timberwolves center Ervin Johnson, who injured his left wrist in practice Sunday, will play in Game 1 against the Kings tonight . . . The Charlotte Bobcats officially joined the NBA after majority owner Bob Johnson made the final payment on the $300 million expansion fee.