This award has meaning for the players because it is voted on by their peers — NBA players vote on the teammate award.
They chose Miami’s Shane Battier.
He won the second Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year award.
The 13-year NBA veteran is a guy Miami Heat coach Eric Spoelstra called “the ultimate teammate.” Battier plays a shifting role with Miami, but does stays ready, doesn’t complain and helps talk teammates through what he sees and where they can attack and make plays. You’d be hard pressed to find someone better liked in a locker room.
“It is a huge honor. It’s probably one of the biggest honors of my life. It means a lot to me, I’ve tried to be a good teammate my entire life,” Battier said, as reported by the Heat.
It’s a fitting tribute to Battier, in what likely is his last NBA season.
The award is named after Jack Twyman and Maurice Stokes, who were friends and teammates on the Rochester/Cincinnati Royals from 1955 to 1958. At the end of the 1958 season, Stokes suffered an on-court head injury severe enough to send him into a coma for days. He awoke paralyzed and suffer post-traumatic encephalopathy, a brain injury that damaged his motor-control center. For the rest of his life Twyman took care of Stokes, cared for him and became his legal guardian.
Battier is only the second winner of this award, the inaugural one went to Chauncey Billups. Players vote for one of a dozen players chosen by a list of retired NBA players.
Here is a breakdown of the voting (with first place votes, total points):
Shane Battier, Miami (67) , 1,322
Al Jefferson, Charlotte (29), 798
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas (28), 784
Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers (40), 754
Pau Gasol, L.A. Lakers (36), 753
Manu Ginobili, San Antonio (14), 739
Channing Frye, Phoenix (24), 568
Andre Iguodala, Golden State (19), 552
Jameer Nelson, Orlando (16), 546
Elton Brand, Atlanta (11), 452
David West, Indiana (16), 447
Mike Dunleavy, Chicago (10), 345