Harrison Barnes didn’t have the finish to the season that he or the Kings were hoping for, but he was recognized for one aspect of his performance in 2019-20: his sportsmanship.
Barnes finished fourth in the balloting for the NBA Sportsmanship Award for the past season, as the trophy (named after current Sacramento chief strategy officer Joe Dumars) went to former King Vince Carter, who suited up for the Atlanta Hawks in the final season of his decorated 22-year career. Fellow former Kings Garrett Temple and Langston Galloway were second and fifth, respectively, in voting.
Each team picks a nominee from its own roster for the Sportsmanship Award, and then a panel of league executives chooses one nominee from each division. This is the second straight season that Barnes was picked as the Kings representative, and the second consecutive year that he was further selected as the Pacific Division nominee.
From there, the players vote. 266 players submitted ballots this season, which is a relatively low number consider 388 voted last year, but it’s still an honor from one’s peers. Barnes finished sixth last year in the final vote before moving up to fourth this year.
Barnes has a long history of being a beloved teammate. In his first year in Dallas in 2016-17, he was selected as Teammate of the Year. When he was traded to Sacramento in 2019, Dirk Nowitzki gave him the highest of praises on his way out.
Dirk on traded teammate Harrison Barnes:— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) February 7, 2019
"He's just a genuinely good dude and he's obviously got bonds with some of these players here for life. That's the kind of guy he is."
More from @apschuyler: https://t.co/uEKZNxAZBv pic.twitter.com/FJC5rUAHX0
The Kings certainly love having Barnes around, and his absence from the training camp portion of the bubble due to COVID-19 was one of the reasons that the team struggled so mightily at the start. It’s nice to see the rest of the league recognize what a good human the he is.