Four point guards, including Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks, were chosen as divisional winners for the annual NBA Sportsmanship Award.
Lin, whose emergence from benchwarmer to star transcended the game for more than a month, is the finalist for the Atlantic Division. He is currently sidelined with a knee injury.
Other point guard finalists are Jason Kidd of the Dallas Mavericks (Southwest), Luke Ridnour of the Minnesota Timberwolves (Northwest) and Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers (Pacific).
The other two finalists are forwards Antawn Jamison of the Cleveland Cavaliers (Central) and Shane Battier of the Miami Heat (Southeast).
Golden State’s Stephen Curry won last year’s Sportsmanship Award, which according to the NBA reflects the ideals of sportsmanship – ethical behavior, fair play and integrity – in amateur and pro ball, which is a key component of the NBA Cares program.
There are no previous winners among the finalists, although Jamison (2005) and Battier (2007) have won the Magic Johnson Award, a different honor from the Pro Basketball Writers Association that goes to a player who combined excellence on the court and cooperation with the media.
Each team nominated a player, and a panel comprised of former NBA players Greg Anthony, John Crotty, Antonio Davis, Eddie Johnson and Kenny chose the finalists. Players vote for the winner.
The winner of the Sportsmanship Award receives the Joe Dumars Trophy, named after the former Detroit Pistons guard who received the inuagural award.