Shane Battier and George Karl, two of the most loquacious and illuminating fellows in the NBA to step or sit in front of the microphones and cameras, were recognized officially for their chatty and cooperative ways Tuesday.
Battier, a veteran role player for the Miami Heat, was selected as the 2013 winner of the Magic Johnson Award, presented annually by the Pro Basketball Writers Association to a player who combines excellence on the court with cooperation with the media and fans. Karl, coach of the Denver Nuggets was named winner of the Rudy Tomjanovich Award, the PBWA’s coaching version that recognizes the same traits.
Also, the Indiana Pacers’ media relations staff became the first two-time winner of the Brian McIntyre Award, presented by the PBWA to the staff deemed most helpful to the media in anticipating and fulfilling coverage needs.
Battier was one of 12 players nominated for his award, including Heat teammates LeBron James and Ray Allen. Others nominated were Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks, Jamal Crawford and Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers, Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs, Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks, Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks and Zach Randolph of the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Magic Johnson Award is the longest-running honor from the PBWA, dating back to Allen in 2002-03. Among this year’s nominees, he and Durant are former winners.
The Rudy Tomjanovich Award was added in 2011, with Jerry Sloan as the inaugural winner. Boston’s Doc Rivers won in 2012 and was a nominee again this season, along with Scott Brooks of Oklahoma City, Rick Carlisle of Dallas, Doug Collins of Philadelphia, Larry Drew of Atlanta and Lawrence Frank of Detroit.
The Pacers, headed by media relations director David Benner, also won the McIntyre Award in 2011. Other staff nominated include Boston, Dallas, Detroit, Golden State, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Oklahoma City and Toronto. The Bucks won the award, named after longtime NBA publicrelations director Brian McIntyre, in 2012. The Warriors, Trail Blazers, Raptors and Suns staff are other past winners.