Somewhat lost in the shuffle last week as the Nuggets were busy vanquishing their first round demons, Chauncey Billups was awarded the NBA’s Sportsmanship award.
The annual award reflects the ideals of sportsmanship — ethical behavior, fair play and integrity — in amateur and professional basketball, a key focus of the leagueâ€™s NBA Cares program efforts. The trophy is named for former Detroit Pistons guard and Hall of Famer Joe Dumars, the awardâ€™s first recipient in 1996.
It was the first time receiving the award for the Nuggets 12 year veteran, and the first time for a Denver Nuggets player. Chauncey beat out Ray Allen and Antonio McDyess, among others.
Chauncey was presented the trophy at the Pepsi Center in front of the hometown fans right before Game #2 against the Hornets.
I personally love the fact that this award goes to a Denver Nuggets. For one, I love being able to fully root for my team as a bunch of “good guys” and not just good athletes. Two, a lot of Dallas and even some national media has suddenly started trying to label the Nuggets players with ugly words like “thugs” and “punks”. Not sure where this came from and why but it seems to stem from the fact that our players are very good (we hit threes in the 4th quarter when we have a lead – oh, the horror!) and have a lot of tattoos.
Sorry, but that does not seem to warrant those types of labels. If you know something different – Nuggets fan, or other fans, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Back to the subject at hand though… well deserved congratulations to Chauncey!