Grant Hill wins PBWA's Magic Johnson Award
Hill on Tuesday was named the winner of the Magic Johnson Award, presented annually by the Professional Basketball Writers Association.
The award honors an NBA player who combines excellence on the court with outstanding cooperation with the media and, by extension, the fans. It was established five years ago and is named after former Los Angeles Lakers great Earvin "Magic" Johnson, a Hall of Fame player and one of the NBA's most popular and effective ambassadors.
"It is truly an honor to receive this award and be spoken of in the same breath with Magic Johnson, who is truly one of the great ambassadors for our game," Hill said. "I have great appreciation for the role the media play in helping us reach and touch fans."
The 6-8 Hill was limited to 21 games this season by a sports hernia, averaging 15.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists. He remained accessible to the media while he was sidelined and recently took a turn in TNT's studio during the cable network's playoff telecasts.
A seven-time All-Star, Hill has averaged 20.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.6 assists in 11 seasons with Detroit and Orlando. He played just 47 of a possible 328 games in his first four seasons with the Magic due to an ankle injury that required a series of operations.
"The PBWA is proud to select Grant Hill for the Magic Johnson Award for 2006," PBWA president Steve Aschburner said. "Grant's performance this season again was hampered by injury but, as always, he remained one of the league's true gentlemen.
"His accomplishments on the court over a Hall of Fame-worthy career speak for themselves, while his willingness to work with the media -- through his many surgeries and comebacks -- has enriched the fans' understanding of the game and the league. He is a terrific choice for this honor."
Other nominees were Phoenix forward Shawn Marion, Houston center Yao Ming, Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom, Dallas guard Jason Terry and San Antonio guard Brent Barry. Previous winners are Ray Allen, Elton Brand, Jalen Rose, Jermaine O'Neal and Antawn Jamison.