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The likely MVP chronology

It's an open assumption throughout the NBA that Kevin Durant is about to be crowned the league's regular-season MVP for the first time in his career.

This has yet to be 100 percent confirmed -- as we did earlier this week with Jamal Crawford's forthcoming Sixth Man Award trophy -- but even LeBron James would surely tell you that's what he's expecting.

So when will Durant's coronation actually be official?

All signs point to early next week.

The most likely scenario, I'm told, is a Monday or Tuesday news conference and a pregame ceremony Tuesday or Wednesday right before Game 1 of the second round ... provided that Durant's Oklahoma City Thunder win their Game 7 at home Saturday night against the Memphis Grizzlies.

If the Thunder lose, chances are we're going to have to wait a bit for the most uncomfortable MVP news conference since Dirk Nowitzki's in 2007 after the Dallas Mavericks, who went 67-15 that season, were bounced in Round 1 by Golden State.

As of Friday afternoon, there were no signals to suggest that Durant would be receiving his widely anticipated MVP trophy before the Memphis game. For one, this Game 7 falls on a Saturday. Such a ceremony, before such a tense win-or-go-home game, could also conceivably create a scene even more awkward than what Durant would have to go through if he ends up having to go the Dirk route.

The NBA decided to take a week off from the awards circuit in the wake of the Donald Sterling scandal. But we already know Crawford is scheduled to receive his Sixth Man Award next week, with the same expected now as well for the Rookie of the Year winner. Philadelphia's Michael Carter-Williams ranks as the heavy favorite in that race.