Los Angeles Clippers' All-Star point guard Chris Paul today was announced by the NBA as the Pacific Division's winner for the 2011-12 NBA Sportsmanship Award. Paul is joined by Cleveland's Antawn Jamison, Dallas' Jason Kidd, Miami's Shane Battier, Minnesota's Luke Ridnour and New York's Jeremy Lin as finalists for the award.
The NBA Sportsmanship Award, designed to honor a player who best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court, is voted on by NBA players. The NBA will announce the winner after the regular season.
The 2011-12 NBA Sportsmanship Award winner will be presented with the Joe Dumars Trophy, named after the Hall of Famer and former Detroit Pistons great who played 14 seasons in the NBA and was the recipient of the inaugural NBA Sportsmanship Award in 1996. The six-time All-Star was selected in honor of his distinguished and dignified career and for symbolizing the tradition the NBA wants to recognize with this award.
Former NBA players Greg Anthony, John Crotty, Antonio Davis, Eddie Johnson and Kenny Smith selected the six divisional winners from a pool of 30 team nominees. Each team nominated one of its players for this award.
The annual award reflects the ideals of sportsmanship -- ethical behavior, fair play and integrity -- in amateur and professional basketball, a key focus of the league's NBA Cares program efforts.
Following is a list of the all-time winners of the NBA Sportsmanship award:
ALL-TIME NBA SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD WINNERS
Inaugural: Joe Dumars (1996)
1996-1997: Terrell Brandon, Cleveland
1997-1998: Avery Johnson, San Antonio
1998-1999: Hersey Hawkins, Seattle
1999-2000: Eric Snow, Philadelphia
2000-2001: David Robinson, San Antonio
2001-2002: Steve Smith, San Antonio
2002-2003: Ray Allen, Seattle
2003-2004: P.J. Brown, New Orleans
2004-2005: Grant Hill, Orlando
2005-2006: Elton Brand, Los Angeles Clippers
2006-2007: Luol Deng, Chicago
2007-2008: Grant Hill, Phoenix Suns
2008-2009: Chauncey Billups, Denver Nuggets
2009-2010: Grant Hill, Phoenix Suns
2010-2011: Stephen Curry, Golden State