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Nash Credits His Role on Suns for Winning MVP

Sunday, May 8, 2005; Page E10

The official announcement won't come until today, but the word was out when the Suns practiced yesterday: Steve Nash has won the NBA's most valuable player award.

The Suns' ever-energized point guard said the impending honor would be a recognition of the team's success and refreshing, unselfish style of play more than of his individual accomplishments.

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"I definitely won this award because of my role on the team," Nash said. "I didn't win this because I overpower people or I'm dominating people with physical ability, whether it's jumping ability or strength or height."

The addition of Nash was the main reason the Suns went from 29 victories in 2003-04 to a league-best 62 this season. The new-look, up-tempo team averaged 110 points per game, the most in the NBA in a decade. It is, Nash has often said, the way the game is supposed to be played.

Heat C Shaquille O'Neal said he didn't consider losing the MVP race to be a snub. Others strongly disagreed; Miami Coach Stan Van Gundy called the result "beyond ludicrous."

"I would probably vote for Shaquille," Nash said.

O'Neal feigned disappointed tears when asked about the MVP topic, and congratulated Nash -- the first Canadian to win the award -- on his season.

"He had twins, just got married, is playing great basketball. Congratulations, Steve."

-- From News Services

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