Every NBA award and the people they are named after

The NBA championship trophy is named after the league’s former commissioner – but who is he and why is it named after him?

There are many team and individual awards up for grabs in the NBA.

From the NBA championship trophy to the Citizenship Award, Planet Sport clears the fog and gives you the full summary.

The Larry O'Brien Trophy (NBA championship trophy)

The NBA championship is awarded to the winning team of the NBA Finals and is named after ex-league commissioner Larry O'Brien.

O'Brien directed the ABA-NBA merger and coordinated the NBA's richest TV contract to date in 1982. He also greatly improved attendance numbers, introduced the salary cap and oversaw the introduction of the three-point line.

As a result of his contributions to the NBA, the championship trophy was named after O'Brien in 1984.

Eddie Gottlieb Trophy (Rookie of the Year)

The Rookie of the Year is awarded to the best performing rookie player of the NBA regular season and is named after former coach and executive Eddie Gottlieb.

Gottlieb headed the NBA rules committee for 25 years and was inducted to the NBA Hall of Fame in 1972 before having the Rookie of the Year award named after him.

Maurice Podoloff Trophy (Most Valuable Player)

The Most Valuable Player is awarded to the best performing player of the NBA regular season and is named after former NBA president Maurice Podoloff.

Podoloff was the first president of the NBA and helped expand the league to 19 teams as well as introducing the 24-second shot clock, quickening the pace of the sport as a result.

For his contributions to the game of basketball, Podoloff had the MVP award named after him.

Kobe Bryant Trophy (All-Star Game MVP)

The All-Star Game MVP is awarded to the best performing player in the annual All-Star Game and is named after legendary shooting guard Kobe Bryant.

Bryant spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five NBA championships.

The award was named after Bryant shortly after he tragically died in a helicopter crash alongside eight others.

Red Auerbach Trophy (Coach of the Year)

The Coach of the Year is awarded to the best coach of the NBA regular season and is named after former coach and executive Red Auerbach.

Auerbach won 938 matches and nine NBA championships as a coach, before becoming an executive, winning another seven championships, totaling 16 title wins in 29 years.

As one of the greatest coaches in league history, Auerbach had the Coach of the Year award named after him in 1967, two years after he won the award.

Bill Russell Trophy (NBA Finals MVP)

The NBA Finals MVP is awarded to the best performing player in the NBA Finals and is named after legendary center Bill Russell.

Russell spent his entire 13-year career with the Boston Celtics, winning a record 11 NBA championships.

In 2009, the NBA Finals MVP was renamed the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in honour of one of the greatest players of all time.

J. Walter Kennedy Trophy (Citizenship Award)

The Citizenship Award is awarded to a player who showed "great service and dedication to the community" and is named after ex-league commissioner J. Walter Kennedy.

Kennedy was preceded by Podoloff and succeeded by O'Brien. He is the first commissioner to uphold a protest in the NBA and helped expand the league and land a lucrative television deal during a difficult period.

For his contributions to the NBA, the Citizenship Award is named after Kennedy.

Joe Dumars Trophy (Sportsmanship Award)

The Sportsmanship Award is awarded to the player who most displays "the ideals of sportsmanship on the court with ethical behavior, fair play and integrity" and is named after Sacramento Kings' chief strategy officer Joe Dumars.

Dumars has over 30 years of NBA experience as both a player and executive. With the Detroit Pistons, he won two titles as a player and one as president of basketball operations.

The Sportsmanship Award is named after the inaugural winner of the award, Dumars.

Twyman-Stokes Trophy (Teammate of the Year)

The Teammate of the Year is awarded to a player who is seen as an "ideal teammate" who exemplifies "selfless play and commitment and dedication to his team" and is named after Jack Twyman and Maurice Stokes.

In 1958, Stokes suffered a seizure and was left permanently paralysed, days after being knocked unconscious during a game. His teammate and lifelong friend, Twyman, became Stokes' legal guardian and cared for him before he was transferred to Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, where Twyman continued to be a regular visitor.

The Teammate of the Year award was introduced in 2013 and is named after Twyman and Stokes.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Trophy (Social Justice Champion Award)

The Social Justice Champion Award is awarded to a player who is making strides in the fight for social justice and is named after legendary center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Abdul-Jabbar won six championships during his 20-year career and has scored the most points in NBA history.

The Social Justice Champion Award is named after Abdul-Jabbar, whose fight against social issues dates back to the civil rights movement.

Executive of the Year

The Executive of the Year is awarded to the best front office executive of the NBA season.

If this award was to be named after someone, it would likely be Danny Ainge or Jerry Colangelo, who has won the award a record four times.

Defensive Player of the Year

The Defensive Player of the Year is awarded to the best defensive player of the NBA regular season.

If this award was to be named after someone, it would be one of the greatest defenders of all time, someone like Hakeem Olajuwon, Mark Eaton or Dikembe Mutombo.

Sixth Man of the Year

The Sixth Man of the Year is awarded to the best performing player as a substitute during the NBA regular season.

If this award was to be named after someone, it would likely be Jamal Crawford or Lou Williams, who have both won the award a record three times.

Most Improved Player

The Most Improved Player is awarded to the most improved player in the NBA that season.

This award could potentially be named after Giannis Antetokounmpo, who won it in 2017 and has since gone on to become arguably the best player in the league.

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded to a player who has had a lifetime of achievement in the league.

If the logo is changed from Jerry West, this award could potentially be named after him.

All-NBA Team

There are three All-NBA teams and they include the best players in the league during the NBA regular season.

All-Rookie Team

There are two All-Rookie teams and they include the best rookies in the league during the NBA regular season.

All-Defensive Team

There are two All-Defensive teams and they include the best defensive players in the league during the NBA regular season.

Read more: Ranking the top 10 players in NBA history - find out if your pick makes the cut

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