Mavericks swingman Reggie Bullock has been named this year’s recipient of the 2021/22 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award, Bullock announced in a recent Instagram story (hat tip to Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News).
“Super honored to have won this award,” Bullock said in his Instagram story, which also included two photos of an engraved trophy. “My platform isn’t taken for granted and I’ll keep inspiring and doing what’s right for my ppl ‼️”
The league has not yet officially revealed the identity of this year’s victor, chose by a committee featuring several social justice leaders. The NBA is supposed to make the announcement at some point during Sunday’s TNT broadcast of the Western Conference Finals.
Aside from Bullock, other finalists for the honor this season include All-Star Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, All-Star Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet, Grizzlies All-Defensive Team power forward Jaren Jackson Jr., and Bucks All-Defensive Team point guard Jrue Holiday.
The league is set to make a $100K donation to a charitable social justice organization of Bullock’s choosing. The Dallas Morning News reports that Bullock has selected his hometown Kinston Teens to receive the donation. The other finalists will all be given a $25K league donation for their chosen social justice groups.
There’s more out of the Southwest Division:
- Mavericks reserve guard Spencer Dinwiddie has enjoyed a particularly lucrative playoff run for Dallas thus far, Marc Stein notes at Substack. The structure of the contract Dinwiddie signed during the 2021 offseason with the Wizards is laden with bonuses that incentivize postseason success. Dinwiddie earned $100K when the Mavericks made the second round of the playoffs and $571,427 when the club advanced to the Western Conference Finals. Should Dallas move on to the Finals, Dinwiddie would earn an additional $400K bonus.
- Grizzlies big man Brandon Clarke is hoping to improve his three-point game in time for the 2022/23 season, writes Damichael Cole of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Clarke, 25, is eligible for a rookie contract extension this summer. “It’s pretty high up on the list,” Clarke said of improving his long-range shooting. “I kind of proved this year I’m not somebody who… needs to be shooting the ball to be playing well, but that’s definitely something very high up on the list that I want to work on more.” Cole opines that the addition of a three-point shot to Clarke’s repertoire could impact how the Memphis front office views his long-term fit. Clarke is a career 29.4% three-point shooter on 0.9 attempts a night, though he did convert 35.9% of his 1.1 looks per game during his rookie season in 2019/20.
- The Spurs, owners of the ninth pick in the 2022 draft, are one of several clubs who took a look at top prospect Johnny Davis, a 6’5″ wing out of Wisconsin, during the 2022 NBA Draft Combine in Chicago. Davis’s NCAA tenure has him well-versed with rebuilding teams, per Tom Orsbron of the San Antonio Express-News. “We lost six or seven seniors from my freshman year, so it was a very limited roster on the team,” Davis said of the Badgers’ 2021/22 squad. “Guys were looking left and right, (thinking), ‘Who is going to be the next ‘guy’ on the team?’ So I figured, ‘Why not me?’ It was a great opportunity to go out and play freely.” Davis averaged just 7.0 PPG during his freshman season, but took a leap as a sophomore. The 20-year-old put up 19.7 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 2.1 APG and 1.2 APG for the 25-8 Badgers this past season, while being named a consensus first-team All-American and the Big Ten Player of the Year. The Spurs also possess the No. 20, 25, and 38 picks in the 2022 draft.