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Candace Parker announced as 2013 WNBA MVP

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As reported by the AP earlier today, versatile Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker has been formally announced as the 2013 WNBA MVP.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

The WNBA has announced that Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker has been voted at the 2013 MVP award with 234 points and 10 first place votes from a panel of 39 media members.

It is Parker's second MVP award, putting her in an elite group of players who have won the award multiple times: Lauren Jackson (three), Lisa Leslie (three), Sheryl Swoopes (three), and Cynthia Cooper (two).

Yet it wasn't exactly easy for Parker, as described in the WNBA release:

Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore finished second in the voting with 218 points (10 first-place votes) and Chicago Sky rookie forward/guard Elena Delle Donne finished third with 189 points (seven). Rounding out the top five vote-getters were Sky center Sylvia Fowles (109, six first-place votes) and Atlanta Dream forward/guard Angel McCoughtry (90 points, two first-place votes), who finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

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

With Moore and Parker finishing just 16 points apart - not to mention tied for first place votes - this year's MVP race was the closest since Sheryl Swoopes broke up a run of Lisa Leslie MVP dominance in 2005.

The full voting results were as follows, according to the WNBA release:

2013 WNBA MOST VALUABLE PLAYER VOTING RESULTS

Points Player Team

  1. 234 Candace Parker Los Angeles Sparks
  2. 218 Maya Moore Minnesota Lynx
  3. 189 Elena Delle Donne Chicago Sky
  4. 109 Sylvia Fowles Chicago Sky
  5. 90 Angel McCoughtry Atlanta Dream
  6. 69 Diana Taurasi Phoenix Mercury
  7. 43 Tamika Catchings Indiana Fever
  8. 34 Lindsay Whalen Minnesota Lynx
  9. 13 Tina Thompson Seattle Storm
  10. 7 Lindsey Harding Los Angeles Sparks
  11. 5 Nneka Ogwumike Los Angeles Sparks
  12. 1 Seimone Augustus Minnesota Lynx
  13. 1 DeWanna Bonner Phoenix Mercury
  14. 1 Tina Charles Connecticut Sun

Setting aside the outliers near the bottom of the list, one of the more interesting stories of this race becomes Chicago Sky teammates Elena Delle Donne and Sylvia Fowles finishing third and fourth, respectively: there was a legitimate discussion about which was more valuable and obviously the panel of voters have made their choice, but the split prevented either from winning the award.

For more commentary on the top candidates for the 2013 WNBA MVP award, check out our MVP watch storystream.