OKC Thunder: Chris Paul receives Community Assist Award
Thunder point guard Chris Paul is one of five recipients of the NBA Cares Community Assist Award, the league announced Monday.
Paul is sharing the end-of-season honor with Sacramento's Harrison Barnes, Boston's Jaylen Brown, Milwaukee's George Hill and Dallas' Dwight Powell.
"The community assist award is such an honor to me any year, but this year in particular," Paul said in a statement. "Given everything 2020 has thrown our way, it's important that we the players continue to use our NBA platform to be the voice of the voiceless."
Paul, as president of the National Basketball Players Association, guided his fellow players through return-to-play negotiations when the COVID-19 pandemic halted play March 11.
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Paul led the league through another stoppage in the bubble, when the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the court following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. The Thunder and Rockets followed suit, and the playoffs didn't resume until the league and owners agreed to three commitments to further social justice efforts and promote voting.
During the restart, Paul wore sneakers representing different HBCUs every game. In March, he launched an internship program at North Carolina A&T to introduce students to opportunities in the live music industry.
"I will continue to amplify and support the front-line organizations fighting for racial and economic justice as well as the tireless efforts of the health care workers keeping us healthy and safe during the COVID-19 health crisis," Paul said. "I am so thankful for this acknowledgement as it is one of the proudest accolades an NBA player can receive."