With his team entering Sunday’s Game 3 down 2-0 to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, Dallas Mavericks swingman Reggie Bullock seemingly broke his own news via social media that he had been selected as the winner of the 2022 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award ahead of reports and the official announcement.
Posting a picture of the trophy to his Instagram story earlier in the day, Bullock further confirmed the news with a simple retweet on Twitter. Bullock captioned the picture on Instagram by writing, “Super honored to have won this award! My platform isn’t taken for granted and I’ll keep inspiring and doing what’s right for my ppl 💙🙏‼️”
According to Mavericks coach Jason Kidd in his pregame address, Abdul-Jabbar personally congratulated Bullock on winning the award Sunday morning in front of his Dallas teammates via a Zoom call.
“Reggie had no idea that we were doing that this morning, so things can stay a secret in-house,” Kidd explained to reporters. “But it’s a remarkable thing that our players are not just basketball players. But they are human, and they do have concerns. I think Reggie’s doing an incredible job with what he’s doing off the court.”
The NBA later tweeted out video of the interaction.
The award is given to a player that pursues social justice by advocating for individuals or groups of people who have been historically marginalized or systemically disadvantaged. Advocating on behalf of the LGBTQ community after his sister, Mia, identified as a trans woman and was murdered in 2014, Bullock will have a $100,000 donation made on his behalf to Kinston Teens — an organization rooted in his North Carolina hometown that works to amplify the voices of Kinston’s youth. Meanwhile, the other four finalists for the award — Milwaukee’s Jrue Holiday, Memphis’ Jaren Jackson Jr., Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns and Toronto’s Fred VanVleet — will each receive $25,000 donations to an organization of their choice.