I don’t have to slap you to let you know award season has arrived!
With less than two weeks left in the regular season, it’s only a matter of time before votes are cast for a number of annual awards. The Chicago Bulls are bound to be well-represented in a handful of discussions thanks to their resurgent season. Not only could head coach Billy Donovan receive some looks for Coach of the Year, but Arturas Karnisovas should be seriously considered for the Executive of the Year trophy.
As for the on-court talent, while DeMar DeRozan’s MVP case is long gone, he seems set for an All-NBA nod. We also learned on Wednesday that he could be in line for quite the prestigious honor. The NBA announced that DeRozan is one of 12 finalists for the Twyman Stokes Teammate of the Year Award. As the league’s site notes: “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.”
According to NBA dot com’s release, a panel of NBA executives decided on the six players to nominate from each conference. Up next, current players will vote for the winner.
The finalists for the 2021-22 Twyman Stokes Teammate of the Year Award.
The annual honor recognizes the player deemed the best teammate based on selfless play, on & off court leadership as a mentor & role model to other NBA players, & commitment & dedication to team. #NBAAwards pic.twitter.com/r5bKLed1hx
— NBA (@NBA) March 30, 2022
If DeRozan were to take home the award, he would join quite an impressive club. The past nine winners include Damian Lillard (2020-21), Jrue Holiday (2019-20), Mike Conley (2018-19), Jamal Crawford (2017-18), Dirk Nowitzki (2016-17), Vince Carter (2015-16), Tim Duncan (2014-15), Shane Battier (2013-14), and Chauncey Billups (2012-13).
When we consider just how significant of a turnaround this team has taken, it’s hard not to think DeRozan will receive significant consideration from a handful of voters. Not only has he been a vital part of getting a roster full of start talent to mesh, but he’s been exactly the veteran presence this team has needed for years. From his endless amount of on-court hugs to his postgame real-talk, DeRozan has been an ideal teammate, and it would be pretty darn cool to see him recognized for it.