Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II has received the NBA’s 2021-22 Bob Lanier Community Assist Award, formerly known as the Seasonlong NBA Cares Community Assist Award, presented by Kaiser Permanente, it was announced today. Paying homage to the league’s 75th anniversary year, the GPII Foundation will receive a $75,000 donation from the NBA and Kaiser Permanente as part of the announcement. The award, which recognizes Payton’s sustained community outreach in support of Bay Area youth over the course of the season, was determined by fan vote on social media and an NBA executive panel.
Payton, who was awarded the January 2022 monthly NBA Cares Community Assist Award, was selected among the league’s 633 players who played in at least one game during the 2021-22 NBA regular season for his outstanding commitment to serving his community. He joins Stephen Curry (2013-14) and Kevin Durant (2017-18) as the only Warriors to receive the seasonlong award, making Golden State the only team who has had three players receive the award since its inception in 2014.
Earlier today, the NBA announced it has renamed the Seasonlong NBA Cares Community Assist Award in honor of late Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer and NBA Cares Global Ambassador Bob Lanier for his dedication to teaching NBA values and making a positive impact on communities across the globe.
Among the various community events he participated in, Payton hosted his first-ever Reading Rally with Decoding Dyslexia for students affected by learning disabilities. Since the Reading Rally, as part of his participation in the Warriors Community Foundation season-long Player Ticket Program, Payton invited youth from Decoding Dyslexia and the University of California San Francisco’s (UCSF) Dyslexia Center to Warriors home games via his ticket section “Mr. Mean’s Team.” Prior to the team’s matchup on January 18, Payton took the time to reconnect with youth from Decoding Dyslexia that attended the Reading Rally in December. His own personal struggle with dyslexia, and his passion and efforts to uplift young people impacted, led to the Warriors expanding their Read to Achieve program to specifically include students with learning disabilities.
In March, Payton was invited by San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safai to take part in a rally at San Francisco City Hall in support of universal screening for risk of dyslexia alongside state and local politicians and numerous community members. During the rally, Payton told the story of his personal journey with dyslexia and spoke to the importance of early detection in children.
In addition, Payton leads the team in appearances and has taken part in numerous Warriors initiatives including two Season of Giving events, the team’s Black History Month Celebration at Thrive City, the 75th Anniversary Legacy Project, and more. Beyond taking part in Warriors events, Payton volunteered his time visiting children in the hospital and distributing toys to underserved youth during the holidays.
Earlier this season, Payton launched the GPII Foundation, a nonprofit aimed to act as a conduit for Dyslexia-awareness and to support early screening, detection, and certified assessment for youth and young adults with languages-based learning challenges. The foundation will provide funding for educators to get certified in early intervention services and support for students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia.
The 2021-22 seasonlong nominees for the award were Bismack Biyombo, Robert Covington, Luka Doncic, Tobias Harris, Jaren Jackson Jr., Brook Lopez, Ricky Rubio, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Trae Young, who have all made standout contributions to their communities.
The NBA Cares Community Assist Award, presented by Kaiser Permanente, honors the standard set by NBA Legend David Robinson, who improved the community piece by piece. To learn more, please visit nba.com/communityassist.