Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose is the youngest Most Valuable Player award-winner in the history of the National Basketball Association, according to a source familiar with the situation.
CHICAGO -- The 22-year-old Rose was widely expected to win the award after leading the Chicago Bulls to a 62-20 record and No. 1 seed in the playoffs.
Michael Jordan was the last Bulls player to win the award. He won it five times, with the latest being 1998. Earlier in the season, Jordan said Rose deserved the award.
The Chicago-born point guard had a breakout third season, averaging 25 points, 7.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds. After a summer with the U.S. National team, Rose made a significant leap.
Rose, the No. 1 pick in the 2008 draft and Rookie of the Year, started his first All-Star game, after making the team as a reserve last season.
He carried a team that saw its top two big men, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, miss significant time with injuries. His fellow starting guard Keith Bogans averaged just 4.4 points per game. Still, the Bulls never lost more than two games in a row.
Rose's MVP candidacy was criticized by some, but not by his teammates. After Rose scored 30 in a 97-81 win over Boston in early April, Noah said, "If this game doesn't put the stamp on the MVP vote, I don't know what else you can say."
Known for his quiet, humble demeanor, Rose raised eyebrows in late September when he told reporters his goal was to win the award.
"The way I look at it, within myself, why can't I be the MVP of the league?" he said. "Why can't I be the best player in the league? Why? Why can't I do that?"
Rose is expected to be notified of his victory Tuesday and be presented with the award during Wednesday's Game 2 against the Atlanta Hawks, according to the source.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau won the Coach of the Year award Sunday. The two will be the 12th duo in NBA history to win both awards.
While his shooting percentages slipped a bit in the first round win over the Indiana Pacers, Rose averaged 27.6 points, 6.2 assists and 4.6 rebounds.
Jon Greenberg is a columnist and reporter for ESPNChicago.com