The NBA announced Friday that Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday has won the 2020-21 NBA sportsmanship award.
“It means a lot,” Holiday said after receiving the Joe Dumars Trophy, which is awarded to the NBA player who best exemplifies sportsmanship on the court.
“Knowing it came from the players, the guys who go through this with me and put their bodies on the line, train in the offseason, it means a lot.”
Holiday, 30, was one of six finalists chosen by a panel of league executives after each team nominated a single player. He received 130 of 343 first-place votes in the balloting of NBA players.
Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker (a two-time winner), Miami Heat centre Bam Adebayo, Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes, San Antonio Spurs guard Derrick White, and Minnesota Timberwolves guard Josh Okogie were the other finalists, one from each division.
“It's difficult to put all the adjectives in one sentence,” said Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer.
“He's just thoughtful, considerate, deep thinking, but he plays the game right away and has a toughness and a realness about him that… players all over the league respect.”
He's only concerned with winning.
“… The guy just makes a difference, and players all over the league recognise, appreciate, and honour him for it.”
In 59 games this season, Holiday, a 12-year veteran, averaged 17.7 points, 6.1 assists, and 4.5 rebounds.
On Nov. 24, he was acquired from New Orleans as part of a four-team trade.
Last year, he received the league's Twyman-Stokes award as the league's best teammate.
Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers received the honour for this season on Thursday night.