The 12 finalists for the 2018-19 Twyman-Stokes Award, which goes to the NBA’s best teammate, have been announced. This year that includes Spurs forward Rudy Gay. It is a player-voted award that will be presented at the 2019 NBA Awards Ceremony.
The 12 nominees for the 2018-19 Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award.— NBA (@NBA) April 1, 2019
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. pic.twitter.com/56BEl0n3VH
The award was created in 2013 and is named after Jack Twyman and Muarice Stokes, and the story behind the award is truly heartwarming. The two played together on the Rochester/Cincinnati Royals from 1955 to 1958 until Stokes’ career was cut short after suffering a head injury from a fall during a game against the Minneapolis Lakers. Stokes would later become paralyzed due to post-traumatic encephalopathy (a brain injury that damages the motor-control center). Twyman then became Stokes’ legal guardian and advocate until Stokes’ death in 1970.
Tim Duncan won the award in 2015. If you need an example of how much Gay’s teammates love him, he would be all of their targets for an April Fool’s Day joke. Watch out, Rudy!