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Damian Lillard Wins Teammate Of The Year Award

Late last week, the NBA announced that the Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard has been named the 2020-21 Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year. 

The award, presented annually since 2013, recognizes the player deemed the best teammate based on selfless play, on- and off-court leadership as a mentor and role model to other players, and commitment and dedication to team.

“It’s a great honor for him,” said Portland coach Terry Stotts. “You look at the other players that have received that award, they’re all well known as being great people, great citizens, great teammates. He’s in very good company.”

A panel of league executives selected 12 nominees (six from each conference) for the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award. Current NBA players selected the winner from the list of 12 nominees, with more than 300 players submitting their votes through confidential balloting conducted by the league office.

Lillard received 40 of 303 first-place votes to finish with 1,012 total points. Finishing second was Suns point guard Chris Paul with 1,001 points.

In addition to Lillard, the nominees were Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon, Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris, Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris, Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem, Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles, Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, Dallas Mavericks center Boban Marjanović, Denver Nuggets forward Paul Millsap, Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul, New York Knicks guard Theo Pinson and Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns.

The award is named after Jack Twyman and Maurice Stokes, who were teammates on the  Rochester/Cincinnati Royals from 1955-58.  Stokes’ career came to an end after he fell in a game, injuring his head and later leading to paralysis. 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 for other players in need.

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