NBA to announce new award honoring the “ideal teammate”


The NBA is adding an additional award to their yearly honors. Sunday evening, prior to Game 2 of the NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat, an announcement will take place for the annual award to recognize the league’s “ideal teammate.” The Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award.

Nominees include; Jerry Stackhouse (Brooklyn Nets), Luke Walton (Cleveland Cavaliers), Andre Iguodala (Denver Nuggets), Jarrett Jack (Golden State Warriors), Roy Hibbert (Indiana Pacers), Chauncey Billups (Los Angeles Clippers), Shane Battier (Miami Heat), Roger Mason, Jr. (New Orleans Hornets), Jason Kidd (New York Knicks), Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City Thunder), Manu Ginobili (San Antonio Spurs), and Emeka Okafor (Washington Wizards).

The award was named after Jack Twyman and Maurice Stokes. The two grew up together in Pittsburgh, were drafted in the same year (1955) to the Cincinnati Royals.

Both became All-Stars, too, but the Royals were wrapping up a 33-39 season when Stokes fell during a game in Minneapolis. His head injury (post-traumatic encephalopathy) caused him to lapse into a coma days later and left him permanently paralyzed.

Stokes’ family couldn’t provide the care or money he needed, so Twyman took over as his legal guardian. It was Twyman who argued successfully for work-injury compensation to cover some of Stokes’ initial medical bills.