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Jerry Stackhouse a finalist for new NBA award to honor "the ideal teammate"

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USA TODAY Sports

Jerry Stackhouse was one of 12 finalists for the NBA's newest award, the Stokes-Twyman Award, to honor the "ideal teammate." The award will be unveiled and the 2012-13 honoree, Chauncey Billups, will be named at Sunday's NBA Finals Game. David Stern will make the presentation.

The other finalists are: Luke Walton (Cleveland Cavaliers), Andre Iguodala (Denver Nuggets), Jarrett Jack (Golden State Warriors), Roy Hibbert (Indiana Pacers), Shane Battier (Miami Heat), Roger Mason, Jr. (New Orleans Hornets), Jason Kidd (New York Knicks), Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City Thunder), Manu Ginobili (San Antonio Spurs), and Emeka Okafor (Washington Wizards).

Jack Twyman and Maurice Stokes were teammates on the Cincinnati Royals in 1955-56 ... All-Stars, too. Steve Aschbruner describes how the two became teammates for life after tragedy struck down Stokes.

"The Royals were wrapping up a 33-39 season when Stokes fell during a game in Minneapolis. His head injury (post-traumatic encephalopathy) caused him to lapse into a coma days later and left him permanently paralyzed. Stokes’ family couldn’t provide the care or money he needed, so Twyman took over as his legal guardian...

"Twyman, while attending to his own family, spent hundreds of hours with Stokes, helping him regain small bits of his speech and limited mobility."

Stokes died in 1970, Twyman last year.

This year's winner was chosen from a vote of NBA players. Ballots featured 12 nominees, six from each conference selected by a panel of NBA Legends according to selfless play, on- and off-court leadership as a mentor and role model to other NBA players and his commitment and dedication to his team.