Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley has won the Joe Dumars Sportsmanship award. Conley received 77 first place votes as he beat out Boston’s Jeff Green and Phoenix’s Channing Frye for the honor.
Joe Dumars was a part of the Pistons “Bad Boys” teams, but he was known as a quieter guy on the team, and earned a reputation for being a great sport on and off the court. Dumars was awarded the first ever Sportsmanship Award while he played for the Pistons in 1996. Dumars paved the way for competitive sportsmanship in the NBA, and has seen other great players such as David Robinson, Grant Hill, Jason Kidd, and now Mike Conley win the award named after him. As of now Dumars and Robinson are the only winners to be elected to the Naismith Hall of Fame.
The special thing about the Joe Dumars Sportsmanship Award is that it is voted on by the players in the league. Not by media or coaches, but by your peers. Having guys that play against you every night, but still have the respect to vote you as an upstanding guy in your league makes the award so meaningful to its winners.
On winning the award Conley said “I’m honored and obviously it’s a great achievement.” On top of receiving the award the NBA will also donate 10,000 dollars to Mike Conley’s charity of choice, the St. Jude’s Research Hospital.
Conley is a fierce competitor on the floor, but has also shown he has the utmost respect from his peers around the league, just like former Pistons great Joe Dumars did. Conley’s Grizzlies take on Kevin Durant and the Thunder in game of three of their Western Conference playoff series tonight.
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