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Survey: GMs pick Nowitzki for MVP

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NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Who is the NBA MVP? According to the league's general managers, it's Dirk Nowitzki.

According to a poll of GMs conducted by and released Wednesday, Nowitzki easily outdistanced two-time reigning MVP Steve Nash for the prestigious award, which will be officially announced next month.

The poll showed that GMs differed with members of the media on at least one award. The executives chose Avery Johnson of the league-leading Dallas Mavericks as Coach of the Year, which was won by Sam Mitchell of the Toronto Raptors in media balloting.

Nowitzki led the Mavericks to a 67-15 record, which matched the fourth-best mark in league history. He received 17 first-place votes and 109 points from the GMs.

Nash, the All-Star point guard of the Phoenix Suns, received seven first-place and 82 points. Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was third.

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In the GM survey, Johnson received 13 first-place votes and 82 points and Mitchell received eight and 68. In media balloting for the award, Mitchell finished first ahead of Utah's Jerry Sloan, with Johnson third.

The GMs also tabbed Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy as Rookie of the Year, another award to be officially announced next month. Roy received 23 first-place votes - the most in balloting for any award - and 121 points, nearly double the total of Toronto Raptors forward Andrea Bargnani.

League executives correctly forecast the order in Sixth Man Award balloting, placing Phoenix Suns guard Leandro Barbosa first, San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili second and Mavericks swingman Jerry Stackhouse third. That award was announced Monday.

GMs predicted Sacramento Kings guard Kevin Martin as Most Improved Player, which will be announced Thursday, and Denver Nuggets center Marcus Camby as Defensive Player of the Year, which will be revealed Friday.

Raptors vice president Bryan Colangelo was picked by his peers as Executive of the Year.