Steven Adams' NBA season may not have ended the way he would have liked on the court, but he has a chance to claim prestigious awards off the court.

Adams, whose Oklahoma City Thunder side were ousted in the first round of the playoffs by the Portland Trail Blazers, has been nominated for the NBA Sportsmanship Award, an award presented to the player who best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court.

He was nominated for the award last year as well, and this year will go up against Harrison Barnes, Mike Conley, Al Horford, Khris Middleton and Kemba Walker for the honour.

His most notable moment of sportsmanship which would have helped his cause came when he saved Denver Nuggets centre Mason Plumlee from a horror landing after his attempted block of an Adams shot went wrong.

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Plumlee got caught by an Adams pumpfake, launching himself into Adams and suddenly tumbled toward the court headfirst after knocking his knee on the Kiwi's shoulder.

Things could have gone terribly wrong had Adams done the usual and taken the easy two points while Plumlee fell, but the Oklahoma City Thunder big man turned and grabbed Plumlee's arm to break his opponent's fall. The Kiwi then also helped Plumlee off the court.

It's not the only award Adams is in the running for, with the centre having also earlier been nominated for the NBA's Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award - an honour which saw the sportsmanship nod fly under the radar until the full list of nominees were announced this week.

Nominees for the Teammate of the Year Award are selected by a panel of former NBA players, with the player "deemed the best teammate based on selfless play, on and off-court leadership as a mentor and role model to other NBA players, and commitment and dedication to the team".

The award, which was first introduced six years ago, includes a $25,000 cheque to be donated to a charity of the winner's choice.

Only Adams, Conley and Middleton are nominated for both the Teammate of the Year and the Sportsmanship of the Year awards.

The NBA's Awards Night is on Tuesday June 25.