The National Basketball Association's Sixth Man of the Year Award is an annual National Basketball Association (NBA) award given since the 1982–83 NBA season to the league's most valuable player for his team coming off the bench as a substitute (or sixth man). A panel of sportswriters and broadcasters from throughout the United States and Canada votes on the recipient. Each judge casts a vote for first, second and third place selections. Each first-place vote is worth five points; each second-place vote is worth three points; and each third-place vote is worth one point. The player with the highest point total, regardless of the number of first-place votes, wins the award. To be eligible for the award, a player must come off the bench in more games than he starts.
Since its inception, the award has been given to 26 different players. Kevin McHale, Ricky Pierce and Detlef Schrempf have each won the award two times. The Phoenix Suns have had four winners while the Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks have had three. McHale and Bill Walton are the only Hall of Famers who have won the award; Walton is also the only award winner to have earned NBA MVP honors. The most recent award winner is J. R. Smith. Manu Ginóbili, Schrempf, Leandro Barbosa, Toni Kukoč and Ben Gordon are the only award winners not born in the United States. Gordon was the first player to win the award as a rookie.
Of the five foreign-born winners, three were trained completely outside the U.S., namely Ginóbili, Barbosa and Kukoč. Schrempf played two years of high school basketball in Centralia, Washington before playing college basketball at Washington, and Gordon was raised in Mount Vernon, New York and went on to play in college at Connecticut.
- ^ Ben Gordon holds both American and British citizenship as he was born in England but was raised in the United States.
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- ^ "Most Valuable Player". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved June 15, 2009.
- ^ "Thunder's James Harden wins Kia Sixth Man Award" (Press release). NBA. May 10, 2012. Archived from the original on May 10, 2012.
- ^ "Gordon Wins NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award". NBA.com/Chicago Bulls. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. May 3, 2005. Retrieved July 11, 2008.
- ^ "First Person: Ben Gordon, Bulls Guard". Sports Illustrated. November 13, 2006. Retrieved August 14, 2008.