Shaq claims NBA's IBM award

Shaquille O'Neal, seemingly everyone's favourite for the MVP trophy, has won the NBA's IBM Award, a computer-calculated measure of a player's contribution to his team.

O'Neal carried the Los Angeles Lakers to the league's best regular-season record, 67-15, by leading the NBA in scoring (29.7) and field-goal percentage (57.4). He was second in rebounding (13.6), third in blocks (3.8) and averaged a career-best 3.8 assists.

Those statistics earned O'Neal 117.46 points in the IBM formula, the league announced Thursday. That easily outpaced last year's honoree, Atlanta's Dikembe Mutombo, who had a 107.04 rating.

Utah's Karl Malone was third with 101.59, followed by Minnesota's Kevin Garnett (100.56), and Seattle's Gary Payton (96.43). Shareef Abdur-Rahim of the Vancouver Grizzlies was ninth (86.95).

O'Neal was second to Mutombo last season.

David Robinson, 10th this year, has won the award a record five times. Michael Jordan won it twice.

The rating is derived by adding together points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks, and subtracting field-goal attempts, personal fouls and turnovers; adding that sum to the number of a team's victories multiplied by 10; and multiplying that total by 250 to reach a number that is divided by team points plus rebounds, assists, steals and blocks, minus field goal attempts, personal fouls and turnovers.