Memphis Grizzlies guard Vince Carter (15) scores against Washington Wizards guard Garrett Temple (17) in the first half at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on December 23, 2015. Photo by Mark Goldman/UPI | License Photo
Memphis Grizzlies guard Vince Carter has been selected by NBA players as the recipient of the 2015-16 Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award, the league announced Wednesday.
The award recognizes the player deemed the best teammate based on selfless play, leadership as a mentor and role model to other NBA players, and commitment and dedication to his team.
More than 300 NBA players submitted their votes through balloting conducted by the league office. The 12 nominees were chosen by a panel of NBA legends as well as executives from the league and the National Basketball Players Association.
The 39-year-old Carter totaled 1,448 points from the players, including 65 first-place votes. Minnesota Timberwolves center Kevin Garnett finished second with 916 points (39 first-place votes), and the Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh placed third with 799 points (18 first-place votes).
Carter, an eight-time NBA All-Star and two-time All-NBA Team selection, has spent the last two seasons of his 18-year career with Memphis. Carter ranks 24th on the NBA's career scoring list (23,969 points) and sixth in 3-pointers made (1,937).
Carter finished second to San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan in last year's voting for the honor.
Carter will be presented with the Twyman-Stokes trophy by 2013-14 Teammate of the Year winner Shane Battier on Wednesday night in an on-court ceremony during Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors in Cleveland.
As part of its support for the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award, the NBA will make a $25,000 donation to Carter's Embassy of Hope Foundation, which assists organizations and individuals in improving the quality of life for children.
Jack Twyman and Maurice Stokes, whose storied friendship transcended their Hall of Fame accomplishments, are honored with an annual NBA award in their names that recognizes the ideal teammate. Twyman and Stokes were teammates on the Rochester/Cincinnati Royals from 1955-58. In the last game of the 1957-58 regular season, Stokes suffered 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.
Along with Carter, Garnett and Bosh, the other finalists for the Teammate of the Year Award were Ryan Anderson (New Orleans Pelicans), Caron Butler (Sacramento Kings), Jose Calderon (New York Knicks), Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons), Festus Ezeli (Golden State), James Jones (Cleveland), Andre Miller (San Antonio), Luis Scola (Toronto Raptors) and Marvin Williams (Atlanta Hawks).