What a surprise to not see any LA Lakers on this list of nominees for the inaugural Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award but more surprising was seeing ex Laker Luke Walton nominated for an official NBA award. That award ended up going to LA Clipper Chauncey Billups and this is one of those awards that the public and media really got say much and argue about since we haven't played with any of these guys.
According to the NBA
The winner was chosen from a vote of NBA players. Ballots featured 12 nominees, six from each conference selected by a panel of NBA Legends according to selfless play, on- and off-court leadership as a mentor and role model to other NBA players and his commitment and dedication to his team.
Finalists for the inaugural Twyman/Stokes Award were Jerry Stackhouse (Brooklyn Nets), Luke Walton(Cleveland Cavaliers), Andre Iguodala (Denver Nuggets), Jarrett Jack (Golden State Warriors), Roy Hibbert (Indiana Pacers), Chauncey Billups (Los Angeles Clippers), Shane Battier (Miami Heat), Roger Mason, Jr. (New Orleans Hornets), Jason Kidd (New York Knicks), Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City Thunder),Manu Ginobili (San Antonio Spurs), and Emeka Okafor (Washington Wizards).
From Ball Don't Lie on Twyman and Stokes after Twyman died last May at age 78:
[...] Twyman acted as former teammate Maurice Stokes' caretaker for the last 12 years ofStokes' life, after the former Royals forward suffered significant brain damage during an injury sustained in the final game of the 1957-58 season, cutting short a promising career (to say the absolute least) that saw Stokes average a combined 33.7 points/rebounds a contest for the Royals.
Worse, with Stokes' family hundreds of miles away and workers compensation failing to cover the costs of his care in the years before the NBA developed a strong union and significant pension plan, Stokes was just about left to his own devices as he grew more and more destitute. This is where Twyman came in, organizing fundraisers for his former teammate, visiting him weekly, and essentially acting as his caretaker (while working as an NBA All-Star, while running his own insurance company in the NBA's offseason, and while working as ABC's lead color analyst) until Stokes' passing in 1970.
Source: Ball Don't Lie
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