ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 21: Kyle Korver #26 of the Utah Jazz stands for the national anthem before the game against the Atlanta Hawks on March 21, 2019 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
Jasear Thompson/NBAE via Getty Images

Kyle Korver nominated for NBA's Teammate of the Year

by Aaron Falk

Kyle Korver wakes up in the middle the night thinking about his shooting mechanics. So it would be easy for the veteran deadeye to want to overhaul some of his teammates’ jumpers. But that’s not Korver’s style.

“He’s got a really good sensitivity about not wanting to remake somebody’s shot during the year, but also offering a little nugget here and there,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “It’s not just with shooting but in general.”

That desire to add to his team's success without disrupting it is one of the reasons the players in the Utah Jazz locker room think Korver is deserving of the NBA’s Teammate of the Year Award, despite arriving in Salt Lake midseason.

Korver is one of 12 players who have been nominated for the award, which honors players based on selfless play, his leadership on and off the court, and his commitment and his dedication to his team.

“He deserves it,” Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell said. “As soon as he came here, I started bombarding him with questions. He’s a great teammate, great guy, great guy off the floor. It’s really cool to have a guy in his 16th year who is so down to earth and so willing to give that advice.”

Jazz forward Joe Ingles has also enjoyed discussing life and basketball with Korver over a cup of coffee.

“He fit in as soon as he got here,” Ingles said. “He’s obviously helped our team with the spacing on the floor. And off, he’s just a great guy.”

The nominees for the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award are selected by a panel of NBA legends. All players will now vote for one overall winner among the dozen nominees.

In addition to Kover, the nominees are:

• Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams

• Memphis’ Mike Conley

• Cleveland’s Channing Frye

• San Antonio’s Rudy Gay

• Miami’s Udonis Haslem

• Golden State’s Andre Iguodala

• Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton

• Philadelphia’s JJ Redick

• LA Clippers’ Garrett Temple

• Indiana’s Thaddeus Young

Korver is averaging 9.1 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 20 minutes per game for the Jazz. The threat Korver poses behind the arc has helped the Jazz in myriad ways. Utah had the 27th ranked offense in the NBA when the team traded for Korver in late November. Since the trade, the Jazz have been the league’s ninth-best offense since.

“He’s deserving of the nomination,” Snyder said. “Coming into a team during the middle of the year, he’s been able to do a lot of things, sometimes in subtle ways, sometimes more vocally. … He’s not thinking about it. It’s just how he conducts himself.”

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