Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard has been named the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year, according to the team. The award is given to the player who possesses the attributes of the ideal teammate and engages in selfless play while maintaining a commitment and dedication to the team.
The inaugural award was given to Chauncey Billups of the Los Angeles Clippers during the 2012-13 season. The award is named for Maurice Stokes and Jack Twyman, who played together on the Rochester/Cincinatti Royals in the late 1950s. Stokes’ career came to an end after he fell in a game, injuring his head. The head injury later led to paralysis, and Jack Twyman served as Stokes’ legal guardian until his death in 1970.
12 players — six from each conference — are nominated each year by a panel made up of NBA executives. Players then vote for the award, and points are given by place, so a first-place vote counts for ten, decreasing to one point for fifth place votes, and the player with the highest point total wins the award. The award consists of a trophy as well as a $25,000 donation to a charity of the winner’s choice.
Congratulations, Dame! It is well-deserved.