Miami native and Heat Lifer Udonis Haslem has long been known for being an excellent teammate and uplifting locker room presence in addition to putting forth maximum heart and hustle out on the court.
On Wednesday, the NBA announced the results for the 2014-15 Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award with Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs receiving the most votes after a panel of NBA legends nominated six players from each conference and 300 NBA players participating in the voting.
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 the NBA's press release.
Haslem placed 10th among the nominated players with 15 first place votes and 440 total points. Duncan led all players with 72 first place votes and 1,494 points; with Vince Carter (Memphis Grizzlies), Elton Brand (Atlanta Hawks), Ryan Anderson (New Orleans Pelicans), Jameer Nelson (Denver Nuggets), Mike Miller (Cleveland Cavaliers), Steve Blake (Portland Trail Blazers), Pau Gasol (Chicago Bulls), Andre Igoudala (Golden State Warriors) and Haslem rounding out the top 10.
Former Heat player Shane Battier was the last recipient of the award for the 2013-14 NBA season and will present Duncan with the trophy at a Spurs home game this fall.
According to the press release, the NBA will make a $25,000 donation split among the following five charities selected by Duncan: My Brother's Workshop, American Cancer Society, Ten Thousand Helpers, St. Croix Interscholastic Athletic Association and St. Croix Foundation.
The award is named after Jack Twyman and Maurice Stokes, teammates on the Rochester/Cincinnati Royals from 1955 to 1958. Stokes was a young All-Star with a blossoming career who suffered a career-ending injury after falling on his head during the final game of the regular season in 1958 and experienced a seizure days later, fell into a coma and became paralyzed.
Unable to pay his mounting medical bills after being cut from the team and with his family unable to help financially, his teammate stepped in and became his legal guardian and advocate to help take care for him until his death in 1970 at the age of 36.