NBA.com first reported the details of the new award, which recognizes the "ideal teammate" who displays "selfless play, on- and off-court leadership as a mentor and role model to other NBA players and his commitment and dedication to his team."
The award takes its name from Jack Twyman and Maurice Stokes, who spent three seasons as teammates on the Rochester Royals and Cincinnati Royals in the 1950s. Stokes suffered a career-ending head injury in 1958 and fell into a coma after a series of seizures. The injury eventually left Stokes paralyzed and Twyman soon became his legal guardian, caring for him and helping raise money for his medical bills.
Billups emerged as the winner from a group of 12 finalists that included: Shane Battier (Heat), Manu Ginobili (Spurs), Roy Hibbert (Pacers), Serge Ibaka (Thunder), Andre Iguodala (Nuggets), Jarrett Jack (Warriors), Jason Kidd (Knicks), Roger Mason, Jr. (Hornets), Emeka Okafor (Wizards), Jerry Stackhouse (Nets) and Luke Walton (Cavaliers).
"Chauncey Billups defines what this award was designed to recognize, a player committed to his club, his teammates and his community," NBA commissioner David Stern said in a statement. "He has mentored and guided countless young players to adopt his selfless attitude, dedication, passion for our game and to respect the history and example of players like Jack Twyman and Maurice Stokes."
Regardless of what Clipper fans may think of Chauncey's performance on the court, the fact that a Clipper won only elevates the team's standing in the League and community. Also, this type of award given to Billups should not be a surprise given his leadership in the locker room.
Congratulations to Chauncey Billups.