Paul George named a finalist for the Magic Johnson Award

Paul George has been good about media and fan requests since joining the Pacers in 2010.

Pacers star Paul George is gracious in his time with the media and he’s good to his fans. And for that, he’s one of five finalists for the Magic Johnson Award, a league-wide award.

This annual award, voted on by the Pro Basketball Writer’s Association that consists of hundreds of media members, recognizes the player who best combines excellence on the court with cooperation with the media and fans.

The other four finalists:

  • DeMar DeRozan (Toronto)
  • Draymond Green (Golden State)
  • Damian Lillard (Portland)
  • Paul Millsap (Atlanta)

The previous three award winners: Steph Curry (2016), Pau Gasol (2015), Dirk Nowitzki (2014).

Celtics coach Brad Stevens, a Zionsville native, is one of five finalists for a similar award for coaches named after Rudy Tomjanovich. The other finalists for that award are Steve Clifford (Charlotte), Mike D’Antoni (Houston), David Fizdale (Memphis), and Stan Van Gundy (Detroit).

And Marion product Zach Randolph of the Memphis Grizzlies is one of five in contention for the J. Walker Kennedy Citizenship Award, which has been presented annually since the 1974-75 season to an individual  who shows outstanding service and dedication to the community.

Last year, local reporters who cover the team regularly, including myself, awarded George the inaugural Mel Daniels Award.

“George was selected as the Pacers’ player who best represents the professionalism and cooperation with local members of the media as Daniels did during his illustrious career. In the 2015-16 season, George has taken on the responsibility of being the ‘locker room spokesperson,’ while handling good nights and tough losses with the same thoughtfulness. George is one of the rare star veterans who consistently makes himself available for interviews both after shootarounds and afternoon practices. Therefore, George has shown great respect for both media members and fans who follow the team.”

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