OKC Thunder notebook: Kevin Durant finishes second for MVP

by Darnell Mayberry Published: May 12, 2012

For the second time in three seasons, Kevin Durant came in second in MVP voting.

Durant finished behind Miami's LeBron James, who took home his third MVP award in four seasons, the league announced Saturday.

James received 85 of a possible 121 first place votes, as well as 25 second-place votes, nine third-place votes, one fourth-place vote and one fifth-place vote to tally 1074 total points. Durant garnered 24 first-place votes, 83, second-place votes, 13 third-place votes and one fourth-place vote to finish with 889 points.

Players received 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for each fifth-place vote, five for each third-place vote, three for each fourth-place vote and one points for each fifth-place vote.

James became the first player since Michael Jordan to win at least three MVP awards and the first player since Magic Johnson from 1987-1990 to win the honor three times in four seasons.

“That's like unheard of for a guy to get three out of four MVPs,” Durant said. “As a good friend of mine, I'm happy for him. Of course I would have loved to have the MVP, but at the same time I just got to keep improving, keep getting better, and hopefully I'll have one soon.”

This was the closest Durant has come to winning the award for the first time. In 2010, when James won his second MVP, Durant received just four first-place votes to James' 116. That year, James tallied 1,205 points to Durant's 609.

Durant, however, said his second-places finishes are no longer meaningful.

“I've been second since high school,” Durant said. “Second draft pick. Second best player (in the country) in high school. Second in MVP voting twice. So I'm over that being second stuff.”

Will the second-place finishes serve as motivation?

“I'm always motivated,” Durant said. “Not winning MVP doesn't make me more motivated than I already was. It's just a great opportunity for us to have a chance to compete for a world championship…I can't think about it too much because I didn't win it. I just go out there and be me and I'll live with the results.”

Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Durant's time will come.

“I'm proud of Kevin,” Brooks said. “He works every day to be in this position to be considered an MVP caliber player. He's 23. He has a lot of years to get that award.”

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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