When Chauncey Billups received the inaugural Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award before game #2 of the 2012-2013 NBA Finals I was happy for him.  Chauncey is just a fantastic human being.  He reminds me of Kareem Abdul Jabbar in that he understands that his actions transcend beyond the court and the sport of basketball.  As Chauncey stated in accepting the award, “I pride myself in being a good human being and a good teammate, and obviously this is a Teammate of the Year Award, but I think, more importantly, it’s about just being a good person.”  I agree with NBA commissioner David Stern who stated, “I can’t think of a player who is more deserving and who embodies the virtues of this award than our first-ever recipient. He is a leader, a selfless player who has rightfully earned the trust and respect of his teammates throughout his career.”

The importance of this award and what it represents makes it what I believe will soon become the most significant honor a player in the NBA can receive.  Even more significant than the MVP. The story of Jack Twyman and Maurice Stokes represents the best of what it means to be a human being.  It’s a story that should inspire us all to strive to be, as Chauncey stated, “a good person.”

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