Billups wins NBA's 1st Twyman-Stokes award

Billups wins NBA's 1st Twyman-Stokes award
June 9, 2013, 8:30 pm
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MIAMI — Former Celtics guard Chauncey Billups was named the inaugural winner of the league's Twyman-Stokes award.

The award, named after former NBA teammates Jack Twyman and Maurice Stokes, goes to the player recognized by fellow NBA players as the most ideal teammate.

"First of all, I'm just very honored to be the first recipient of such a prestigious and great award," Billups said.

Billups, drafted No. 3 overall by the Celtics in 1997, received a total of 1,543 points which included 69 first-place votes, to edge out Miami's Shane Battier (1,324 points) and New York's Jason Kidd (1,048).

"Chauncey Billups defines what this award was designed to recognize, a player committed to his club, his teammates and his community,” said NBA commissioner David Stern. “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.”

Twyman and Stokes were teammates with the Rochester/Cincinnati Royals from 1955-1958. In the 1958 season finale, Stokes sustained an injury that led to him falling into and coma and soon after that, he was paralyzed.

From there, Twyman took care of Stokes and went so far as to become his legal guardian.

With mounting medical bills, Twyman began to organize fundraising basketball games that included some of that era's greatest players, like former Celtics great Bill Russell.

Both Stokes and Twyman were inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

"Even older players like myself to the younger guys need to know the story," Billups said. "They need to know the story."

Other finalists for the award were Jerry Stackhouse (Brooklyn Nets), Luke Walton (Cleveland Cavaliers), Andre Iguodala (Denver Nuggets), Jarrett Jack (Golden State Warriors), Roy Hibbert (Indiana Pacers), Roger Mason, Jr. (New Orleans Hornets), Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City Thunder), Manu Ginobili (San Antonio Spurs), and Emeka Okafor (Washington Wizards).