Paul George voted inaugural recipient of the Mel Daniels Award

Paul George is the recipient of an inaugural award for cooperation with the media.

Paul George is the recipient of an inaugural award for cooperation with the media.

Paul George has been recognized by local media members who cover the team regularly for his professionalism.

George, in his sixth season with the Indiana Pacers, is the face of the franchise and he accepts the responsibilities that come with that. He talks with the media after every game and it is rare for even a practice to go by where his presence isn’t requested. That’s what makes George different than most players on the Pacers.

Throughout the season, he doesn’t try to avoid talking with reporters and he will answer every question that comes his way.

Formed for the first time, the local chapter of the Professional Basketball Writers Association decided to annually recognize a Pacer who cooperates best with the media and name it after the late Mel Daniels, who passed away on October 30, 2015. George, 25, is the inaugural winner.

[VIDEOS: Pacers, family celebrate Mel Daniels at memorial service]

The PBWA gives out a league-wide “good guy” award, which is the Magic Johnson Award. This year’s nominees were Carmelo Anthony, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Damian Lillard, and Paul Millsap. (The last three recipients of the Magic Johnson Award: Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, Shane Battier.)

Read the press release below:

Indiana Pacers forward Paul George has been honored as the inaugural recipient of the 2015-16 Mel Daniels Award, the Indianapolis Chapter of Professional Basketball Writers Association announced today.

The award is named after the late Mel Daniels, who was a humble and generous teammate with the Pacers and displayed those same attributes with the media. The two-time Most Valuable Player in the ABA and starting center on three championship teams maintained a cooperative and honest approach with reporters throughout his six seasons with the team. As a scout with the Pacers, he continued to be an accessible source for reporters seeking inside knowledge and offered reliable insight to those writing about his former teammates or coach. He never sought attention, yet never refused to cooperate with those seeking information.

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 showed great respect for both media members and fans who follow the team.

See Also: Pacers wear patch on home jerseys in honor of Mel Daniels

Full disclosure: I am part of the PBWA and the local chapter. While I believe George is completely deserving, my vote was for C.J. Miles.

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