NEW YORK – NBA players have selected New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday as the recipient of the 2019-20 Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award, the NBA announced today.
The award, presented annually since the 2012-13 season, 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.
More than 250 NBA players submitted their votes for the 2019-20 Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award through confidential balloting conducted by the league office. NBA players determined the winner from among the 12 nominees who were selected by a panel of league executives.
Holiday received 53 of 267 first-place votes and finished with 1,041 total points. Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris (806 points; 48 first-place votes) and Milwaukee Bucks forward Kyle Korver (796 points; 26 first-place votes) finished in second and third place, respectively. Players were awarded 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for each second-place vote, five points for each third-place vote, three points for each fourth-place vote and one point for each fifth-place vote.
In addition to Holiday, Harris and Korver, the other finalists were Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea, Denver Nuggets forward Torrey Craig, Los Angeles Lakers forward Jared Dudley, Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem, Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward, Toronto Raptors forward-center Serge Ibaka, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills and Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner.
Holiday, 30, has spent the last seven seasons with New Orleans after playing his first four seasons with Philadelphia. The 6-3 guard was selected as an NBA All-Star in the 2012-13 season and named to the NBA All-Defensive Team in 2017-18 and 2018-19. In the 2019-20 season, he averaged 19.1 points, 6.7 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.62 steals in 61 games across regular-season games and seeding games.
In July, Holiday announced that he would use the remainder of his 2019-20 season salary to start a social justice fund with his wife, Lauren, a former player for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. The Jrue and Lauren Holiday Social Justice Impact Fund is designed to address socioeconomic inequalities across communities in New Orleans, the Los Angeles area and Indianapolis. Jrue and Lauren are Los Angeles and Indianapolis natives, respectively, and Jrue’s two brothers, Aaron and Justin, both play for the Pacers.
The Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award is named for Jack Twyman and Maurice Stokes, whose storied friendship transcended their Hall of Fame accomplishments. Twyman and Stokes were teammates on the Rochester/Cincinnati Royals from 1955-58. In the last game of the 1957-58 regular season, Stokes sustained an injury that led to his falling into a coma days later and becoming permanently paralyzed. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic encephalopathy, a brain injury that damaged his motor-control center. 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, after Stokes’ death in 1970 at age 36, for other players in need. In 2004, after years of lobbying by Twyman, Stokes was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Twyman, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1983, died in 2012.
Below are voting totals for the 2019-20 Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award and the list of all-time winners.
ABOUT JACK TWYMAN: A Pittsburgh native and collegiate standout at the University of Cincinnati, Twyman earned six NBA All-Star Game selections and two All-NBA Second Team honors in 11 seasons, all spent with the Rochester/Cincinnati Royals. Twyman was runner-up in the scoring race twice, including in 1959-60, when he finished with 2,338 points and averaged a career-high 31.2 points. He retired in 1966 with career averages of 19.2 points and 6.6 rebounds. After his playing career, he worked as a television analyst on NBA games.
ABOUT MAURICE STOKES: Also a Pittsburgh native, Stokes was one of the first African-American players to star at the collegiate and professional levels. At 6-7, 250 pounds, he possessed the talent and athleticism to play every position on the court. He led St. Francis (Pa.) University to the Final Four of the 1955 National Invitation Tournament before embarking on his NBA career with the Rochester Royals. Stokes won the 1955-56 NBA Rookie of the Year Award and earned All-Star selections in each of his three NBA seasons before sustaining his career-ending injury.