Considering that Dirk Nowitzki was MVP of the regular season and is European as well as Tony Parker, who was the Finals MVP it might look strange to people if they only think about the NBA, why Andrei Kirilenko wins this award. As you may have noticed – this award is from FIBA Europe – so other titles weigh in.
A gold medal and MVP honours at EuroBasket 2007 and another strong showing for club side the Utah Jazz all add up the FIBA Europe Player of the Year Award for Andrei Kirilenko of Russia. The 2.09m forward takes home the prize after winning a vote of both fans and a panel of basketball experts, media and coaches from 25 different countries.
“Andrei Kirilenko is a deserving winner of this award,” commented FIBA Europe President George Vassilakopoulos.
“Very few people expected Russia to win the gold medal this summer and their eventual victory was due in large part to his stellar play.”
It is a little bit surprising that Dirk Nowitzki, who’s national team did not really win anything in 2007, besides “qualifying for another qualification tournament for the Olympics”, ranked second, while Spanish national team player Jose Calderon finished third – mainly for winning the silver medal of the European Championship this summer.
Here is the complete list:
1 Andrei Kirilenko, Russia
2 Dirk Nowitzki, Germany
3 Jose Calderon, Spain
4 Tony Parker, France
5 Ramunas Siskauskas, Lithuania
6 Dimitris Diamantidis, Greece
7 Pau Gasol, Spain
8 Andris Biedrins, Latvia
9 Matjaz Smodis, Slovenia
10 Luol Deng, Great Britain
11 J.R. Holden, Russia 10 7 11 3.3 10.3