New Orleans Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis paced his team in a wide range of categories during the 2014-15 season, including scoring, rebounding, blocked shots and steals. As it turns out, the 22-year-old was also a leader-by-example in another, often less-noticed aspect of the game – sportsmanship and on-court demeanor.
In voting results announced Wednesday by the NBA, Davis was the league’s runner-up to Atlanta’s Kyle Korver in a category described as going to the player who best “reflects the ideals of sportsmanship – ethical behavior, fair play and integrity.”
Although there are few statistical or tangible ways to measure sportsmanship, Davis was only whistled for two technical fouls during the regular season, while logging 2,455 minutes. The Pelicans were one of the NBA’s best clubs at not being penalized by technicals, with no player finishing among the top 100 in techs per game. The only other NBA teams without a top-100 player in that dubious category were San Antonio and Orlando.
Davis and Korver were two of the six divisional winners for the Sportsmanship award. The others were Pau Gasol, Nick Collison, Amir Johnson and Jeremy Lin.