The National Basketball Player's Association announced their 2016 Player's Voice Awards today, and the Houston Rockets were represented by forward Trevor Ariza in the "teammate of the year" category, in which each squad from both conferences had a winner.
Despite a slight slippage this past season, Ariza was still the Rockets' most versatile defender, at one point or another guarding every position on the floor throughout the year. He was tasked with being the primary wing stopper, often shadowed the opposing team's best player regardless of position and finished with a career-high 2.0 steals per game.
Ariza also played in 81 games this past year, starting in all 81 of those, and he also contributed on the offensive end, knocking down 37.1 percent of this three point shots, the second highest mark of his career.
He also seemed to keep his head on straight among the swirling storm of dysfunction both on the court and in the locker room and was one of, if not the most respected player on the roster.
Ariza did totally collapse in the postseason against the Golden State Warriors, as he shot just 25.5 percent from the field and 14.3 percent from beyond the arc, but that was likely due mainly to a set of dead legs after averaging over 35 minutes per game for the third consecutive season.
The 31-year-old Ariza is entering is 13th year in the NBA, and while his athleticism may be starting to slightly wane, expect him to be a key component for the Rockets on both ends of the court again the coming season.
The full lists for the both the Eastern and Western Conferences can be found here, along with a litany of other intriguing categories, such as "comeback player of the year," best dressed," "player you secretly wish was on your team" and many others. Take a second to check it out.
And congrats to Ariza for earning one of the more satisfying honors one can achieve as a professional in just about any field: recognition from your peers.