Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard has been named a finalist for the Magic Johnson Award, it was announced Thursday. The award, which “honors the player who best combines excellence on the basketball court with cooperation and dignity in dealing with the media and the public,” is given out annually by the Professional Basketball Writers Association:
The PBWA created the Magic Johnson Award in 2001. The association’s members continue to regard Earvin “Magic” Johnson of the Los Angeles Lakers as the ideal model for the award.
The PBWA is composed of over 200 writers and editors who cover the NBA on a regular basis for newspapers, online outlets and magazines.
According to The Oregonian’s Joe Freeman, LeBron James, Khris Middleton, Donovan Mitchell and Kemba Walker are also finalists:
Damian Lillard is a finalist for the PBWA Magic Johnson Award, which recognizes the player who best combines excellence on the court with cooperation with media/fans. He won the honor in 2017.— Joe Freeman (@BlazerFreeman) October 22, 2020
LeBron James, Khris Middleton, Donovan Mitchell & Kemba Walker are also finalists.
Lillard previously won the award for the 2016-17 season. On winning the award, he said: “I take pride in establishing a professional and respectful rapport with the media, so it’s an honor to be recognized by the PBWA and follow in the footsteps of NBA greats like Magic Johnson.”
Lillard is known across the league for being one of the most insightful and available players when it comes to the media.