Basketball Wiretap

Stephen Curry Named 22-23 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion

May 23, 2023 11:21 AM

Stephen Curry has been named the 2022-23 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion, the NBA today announced.  Curry was selected from a group of five finalists for his dedication to pursuing social justice and advancing Abdul-Jabbar’s life mission to engage, empower and drive equality for individuals and groups who have been historically marginalized or systemically disadvantaged.

Curry prioritizes uplifting communities by fostering equity and creating access to opportunity.  As a co-chair of former First Lady Michelle Obama’s “When We All Vote” initiative, Curry uses his platform to drive voter registration, education and turnout, most recently during the 2022 election season.  His role encouraged millions of new voters to participate in the political process and make their voices heard through civic engagement.  As part of his ongoing voting-related efforts, Curry participated in the National Basketball Social Justice Coalition’s “Freedom to Vote” social media campaign to help advocate for the passage of the Freedom to Vote Act in the U.S. Senate.  Curry is also committed to raising awareness around issues of community safety, utilizing the Warriors’ 2023 White House visit to engage directly with President Biden and participate in a White House press briefing with head coach Steve Kerr to publicly address the matter.

Much of Curry’s work also focuses on supporting underrepresented groups and reducing barriers to opportunity. In 2022, he graduated from Davidson College and wrote his final thesis on gender equity in sports, an issue that anchors his progressive and innovative ventures across the consumer, entertainment and non-profit spaces.  Through UNDERRATED, Curry’s lifestyle brand that empowers underrated and underrepresented individuals by opening doors for often-overlooked student-athletes, he creates equity, access and opportunity for basketball and golf athletes around the world to be seen by college recruiters, sports agents and other industry leaders.  UNDERRATED has also enabled female athletes to access the same opportunities as their male counterparts, provided scholarships for athletes and offered personal development programming for young people.  Among these efforts, Curry committed $6 million in funding to the men’s and women’s golf team at Howard University, which hadn’t been active for 50 years.

Unanimous Media, Curry’s multimedia company rooted in the mission to inspire audiences through authentic storytelling, is dedicated to collaborating with underrepresented filmmakers, creators and writers across the entertainment industry.

Through Eat. Learn. Play., Curry’s nonprofit co-founded with his wife Ayesha, Curry works to ensure every child in Oakland has access to nutritious food they need to be healthy and thrive, resources to foster a love for learning and reading, and safe places with equitable opportunities to play. With a mission to address and overcome the systemic socio-economic barriers facing underserved communities, Eat. Learn. Play. and its partners continue making a positive impact in the lives of children and families in need. Over the last year, Eat. Learn. Play. has provided over two million meals and 500,000 books to Oakland students, funded over 1,500 teacher-led classroom literacy projects, remodeled four new play spaces complete with multi-sport courts, playgrounds, gardens and murals, and more.

Curry has selected University of San Francisco Institute for Nonviolence and Social Justice, which investigates, illuminates, and advances the theory and practice of transformational nonviolence to confront and overcome injustice and systemic violence and contribute to the just resolution of communal conflict, to receive a $100,000 contribution from the NBA on his behalf.

“I’m passionate about the work of the University of San Francisco Institute for Nonviolence and Social Justice and its commitment to overcoming injustice and systemic violence through peace,” said Curry.  “As an athlete, I consistently leverage my platform to amplify advocacy and address the pervasive issue of systemic racism.  I firmly believe that we must be vocal both on social media and in real life, taking tangible actions to effect real change in our society and for generations to come.  Together, with the organization’s co-founder and director, Dr. Clarence B. Jones, we have initiated meaningful conversations around social justice with the school’s student body, doubled the charity’s donations through my foundation Eat. Learn. Play.’s gift matching initiatives, and continued building on its mission in my personal and professional life by holding people accountable and promoting the principles of justice, fairness and equality today, tomorrow and in the future.”

The four other finalists – Memphis Grizzlies forward-center Jaren Jackson Jr., San Antonio Spurs guard Tre Jones, Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul and Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams – will each receive $25,000 donations from the NBA to the following social justice organizations of their choosing: VisionC (Williams), The Obama Foundation’s Girls Opportunity Alliance (Jackson Jr.), Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas (Jones) and the Social Change Fund United (Paul).

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Tags: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA Award

Nikola Jokic: Joel Embiid Deserved To Win MVP

May 23, 2023 10:47 AM

After advancing to The Finals for the first time in his career, Nikola Jokic was asked how winning Western Conference Finals MVP compares to winning two regular season MVPs. 

"To be honest, this is just -- I don't know, I don't think about MVPs anymore," said Jokic. "I think people are just mean and saying that [Joel] Embiid shouldn't have won it. I think he should have won it. I think he was playing, if you watch it, extremely, extremely tough basketball through the whole season.

"I don't want to say a player doesn't mean that, but he was really amazing in 82 games or however many games he played."

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Tags: Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia Sixers, NBA, NBA Award

Stephen Curry Wins 22-23 Citizenship Award

May 18, 2023 2:35 PM

Stephen Curry has won the 2022-23 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, as administered and selected by the Professional Basketball Writers Association (PBWA).  

Named after the NBA’s second commissioner, the honor is presented annually by the PBWA to a player, coach or athletic trainer who shows outstanding service and dedication to the community.

Curry, a four-time NBA champion and two-time MVP, was one of four finalists for the 2022-23 award, along with Los Angeles Lakers center Wenyen Gabriel, LA Clippers forward Paul George and Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams.

“Few athletes have as great a reach or as powerful a platform as Steph Curry, and he has used it to the fullest to benefit others,” said PBWA President Howard Beck.  “The members of the Professional Basketball Writers Association salute him and the other nominees for their exemplary work.”

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Tags: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA Award

Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Jaren Jackson Jr. Among Five Finalists For Social Justice Champion Award

May 15, 2023 1:30 PM

The NBA today announced that Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, Memphis Grizzlies forward-center Jaren Jackson Jr., San Antonio Spurs guard Tre Jones, Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul and Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams have been selected as the five finalists for the 2022-23 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award.  

The five finalists represent the year’s most impactful social justice advocates who are continuing NBA players’ decades-long tradition of activism.  The annual award recognizes a current NBA player for pursuing social justice and advancing Abdul-Jabbar’s life mission to engage, empower and drive equality for individuals and groups who have been historically marginalized or systemically disadvantaged.  

The finalists were determined from the pool of team nominees by the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion selection committee, comprised of the following social justice leaders and members of the NBA family: Abdul-Jabbar, Director of The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport Dr. Richard Lapchick, National Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial, UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía, Rise Founder and CEO Amanda Nguyen, and NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum are in their third year on the committee, as well as Leah Harmon, the 2022-23 youth representative and member of the Jr. NBA Court of Leaders.

The winner of the 2022-23 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award will be announced during 2023 NBA Conference Finals and will receive a $100,000 donation from the NBA for a social justice organization of his choosing. The other four finalists will each select a social justice organization to receive a $25,000 contribution on their behalf.  Dallas Mavericks guard-forward Reggie Bullock was named as the second Social Justice Champion at the end of the 2021-22 season.

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Mark Jackson Apologizes For Leaving Nikola Jokic Off MVP Ballot

May 12, 2023 7:58 AM

Mark Jackson has apologized for leaving Nikola Jokic off of his MVP ballot. Jackson received backlash after the NBA made all postseason awards ballots public. Jackson was the lone voter, out of 100 total voters, to not have Jokic in his top-5 for MVP.

Earlier in the day, Jackson told Sirius/XM's NBA Radio that he made an honest mistake. Jackson said he listed a center (Joel Embiid), two forwards (Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jayson Tatum) and two guards (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Donovan Mitchell) on his ballot by mistake. 

Mark Jackson/ESPN

Tags: Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA Award

Jrue Holiday Wins NBA Teammate Of The Year

May 11, 2023 12:17 PM

Jrue Holiday has been awarded the NBA Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year.

Holiday also won the award last season and in 2020.

Mikal Bridges, Stephen Curry, Derrick Rose and Udonis Haslem finished in the top-5 behind Holiday. 

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Tags: Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA, NBA Award

Joel Embiid Headlines All-NBA Teams

May 10, 2023 7:16 PM

The 22-23 All-NBA Teams have been announced headlined by Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo on the First Team.

Jaylen Brown was a Second Team selection and becomes supermax eligible with the Boston Celtics, which would allow him to sign a five-year, $295 million extension.

Ja Morant did not make one of the three teams and won't receive the Rose rule provision on his rookie extension.

First Team
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Luka Doncic
Joel Embiid
Jayson Tatum
Giannis Antetokounmpo

Second Team
Stephen Curry
Donovan Mitchell
Jimmy Butler
Nikola Jokic
Jaylen Brown

Third Team
Damian Lillard
De'Aaron Fox
LeBron James
Julius Randle
Domantas Sabonis

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Jaren Jackson Jr., Evan Mobley Headline 22-23 NBA All-Defensive Teams

May 9, 2023 2:26 PM

Jaren Jackson Jr. headlines the 22-23 NBA All-Defensive Teams. Evan Mobley and Alex Caruso were first-time selections.

First Team
Alex Caruso, Chicago Bulls  
Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks  
Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies  
Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks  
Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers

Second Team
Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat  
O.G. Anunoby, Toronto Raptors  
Dillon Brooks, Memphis Grizzlies  
Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors  
Derrick White, Boston Celtics

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Paolo Banchero, Jalen Williams Headline 22-23 NBA All-Rookie Team

May 8, 2023 2:04 PM

Paolo Banchero has been joined on the 22-23 NBA All-Rookie First Team by Jalen Williams, Walker Kessler, Bennedict Mathurin and Keegan Murray.

First Team
Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic  
Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz  
Bennedict Mathurin, Indiana Pacers  
Keegan Murray, Sacramento Kings  
Jalen Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder

Second Team
Jalen Duren, Detroit Pistons  
Tari Eason, Houston Rockets  
Jaden Ivey, Detroit Pistons  
Jabari Smith Jr., Houston Rockets  
Jeremy Sochan, San Antonio Spurs

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Marcus Smart Wins 22-23 NBA Hustle Award

May 4, 2023 1:04 PM

Marcus Smart has been named the winner of the 22-23 NBA Hustle Award.

Smart becomes the first player to win the award in consecutive seasons and earns the honor for the third time since its debut in 16-17.

Hustle stats — including deflections, loose balls recovered, charges drawn, screen assists, contested shots and box-outs — have been tracked by the NBA since the 2016 postseason

Draymond Green, Aaron Nesmith, Mitchell Robinson and Herbert Jones finished in the top-5 in the award.

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Tags: Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Award

Regular Season MVP Has Also Won Finals MVP 15 Times In NBA History

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Kings' Monte McNair Named NBA Executive Of The Year

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