NEW YORK, Aug. 19, 2015 – NBA players have selected the San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan as the recipient of the 2014-15 Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award. The award recognizes the player deemed the best teammate based on selfless play, on- and off-court leadership as a mentor and role model to other NBA players, and commitment and dedication to team.
A panel of NBA Legends nominated six players from each conference for the award and then nearly 300 NBA players submitted their votes through confidential balloting conducted by the league office.
Duncan has helped the Spurs reach the playoffs in each of his 18 NBA seasons and win five championships. Last season, Duncan was selected to his 15th All-Star Game, 15th All-NBA Team and 15th NBA All-Defensive Team.
Jack Twyman and Maurice Stokes, whose storied friendship transcended their Hall of Fame accomplishments, are honored with an annual NBA award in their names that recognizes the ideal teammate. Twyman and Stokes were teammates on the Rochester/Cincinnati Royals from 1955 to 1958. In the last game of the 1957-58 regular season, Stokes suffered an injury that led to his falling into a coma days later, leaving him permanently paralyzed. Diagnosed with post-traumatic encephalopathy, a brain injury that damaged his motor-control center, Stokes was supported for the rest of his life by Twyman, who became his legal guardian and advocate.
Twyman helped organize the NBA’s Maurice Stokes Memorial Basketball Game, which raised funds for Stokes’ medical care and, after his death in 1970 at age 36, for other players in need. In 2004, after years of lobbying by Twyman, Stokes was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Twyman, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1983, died in 2012.
As part of its support for the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award, the NBA will make a $25,000 donation split among the following five charities selected by Duncan: My Brother’s Workshop, American Cancer Society, Ten Thousand Helpers, St. Croix Interscholastic Athletic Association and St. Croix Foundation.
Duncan totaled 1,494 points from the players, including 72 first-place votes. The Memphis Grizzlies’ Vince Carter finished second with 818 points (28 first-place votes), and the Atlanta Hawks’ Elton Brand placed third with 707 points (21 first-place votes). Duncan will be officially presented the trophy by 2013-14 Twyman-Stokes Award winner Shane Battier at a Spurs home game this fall.
Ten points were awarded for a first-place vote, seven for second, five for third, three for fourth and one for fifth; players were not allowed to vote for a teammate. Along with Duncan, Carter and Brand, the finalists included Ryan Anderson (New Orleans Pelicans), Steve Blake (Portland Trail Blazers), Caron Butler (Detroit Pistons), Pau Gasol (Chicago Bulls), Udonis Haslem (Miami Heat), Andre Iguodala (Golden State Warriors), Al Jefferson (Charlotte Hornets), Mike Miller (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Jameer Nelson (Denver Nuggets).
Below is a list of voting totals for the 2014-15 Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award:
2014-15 TWYMAN-STOKES TEAMMATE OF THE YEAR AWARD VOTING TOTALS
Player, Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Points
Tim Duncan, San Antonio 72 59 44 40 21 1,494
Vince Carter, Memphis 28 39 30 28 21 818
Elton Brand, Atlanta 21 27 44 23 19 707
Ryan Anderson, New Orleans 31 29 12 19 23 653
Jameer Nelson, Denver 39 14 13 22 33 652
Mike Miller, Cleveland 16 23 26 41 29 603
Steve Blake, Portland 18 23 24 27 22 564
Pau Gasol, Chicago 15 24 20 21 27 508
Andre Iguodala, Golden State 19 18 21 19 15 493
Udonis Haslem, Miami 15 13 24 22 13 440
Caron Butler, Detroit 14 17 20 17 20 430
Al Jefferson, Charlotte 11 13 21 20 46 412
Below is a list of past winners of the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award:
ALL-TIME TWYMAN-STOKES TEAMMATE OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS
2012-13: Chauncey Billups, L.A. Clippers
2013-14: Shane Battier, Miami
2014-15: Tim Duncan, San Antonio
ABOUT JACK TWYMAN: A Pittsburgh native, Twyman’s NBA career included six All-Star Game selections and two All-NBA Second Team nods. A prolific scorer, Twyman was runner-up in the scoring race twice, including in 1959-60, when he averaged a career-high 31.2 points. He retired in 1966 as the 20th all-time leading scorer. After his playing career, he worked as an NBA analyst for ABC. Twyman starred at the University of Cincinnati, where he averaged 17.8 points and 13.8 rebounds.
ABOUT MAURICE STOKES: Also a Pittsburgh native, Stokes was one of the first African-American players to star at the collegiate and professional levels. At 6-7, 250 pounds, he possessed the talent and athleticism to play every position on the court. He led St. Francis College (Pennsylvania) to the Final Four of the 1955 National Invitation Tournament before embarking on his NBA career. The second overall selection of the 1955 NBA Draft by the Rochester Kings, Stokes won the 1955-56 Rookie of the Year Award and earned All-Star berths in each of his three NBA seasons before suffering his career-ending injury.