Professional sports leagues are notoriously protective of photos, videos and any other intellectual property, so it’s a little surprising to see the first-ever NBA Social Media Awards.

This is the organization that unsuccessfully sued to stop a mobile service from sending out plain ol’ game scores, after all. And all leagues often clamp down on  social sharing, as many fans can attest.

Props to the NBA, therefore, for honoring pro teams and players who have made a mark on Facebook, Twitter, and even YouTube and Instagram.

The big winners of the event included Jeremy Lin, who received the Epic Award; Blake Griffin, who was given the Got Game Award; and Kobe Bryant, who took home both the #Trendsetter and the Thumbs Up Awards.

There were team awards as well, one of which went to the Los Angeles Lakers as having the largest social media footprint during the regular season.

Related links:

NBA Social Media Awards – online home

NBA – press release

Bleacher Report – NBA Social Media Awards 2012 Results: Jeremy Lin Rightfully Goes 2-for-2

Mashable – NBA Social Media Awards: Durant, Kobe, Lin Win Big

NBA Social Media Awards winners:

• The Epic Award – favorite game during the regular season, as voted by fans.
– Linsanity Begins (Feb. 12, 2012: Lakers vs. Knicks: Lin scores 38 points to outduel Kobe Bryant)

• The Got Game Award — the fan-favorite team/play during the regular season.
– “Blake Goes Big” (@BlakeGriffin)

• The Social Slam Award — the fan-favorite dunk during the regular season.
– Gerald Green “Go Get It”

• The Social MVT (Most Valuable Team) — the team who had the largest social media footprint during the regular season.
-Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers)

• The Fan Nation Award — the team with the highest percentage of increased exposure across all platforms including all players on the respective teams.
-Los Angeles Clippers (@LAClippers)

• The FTW (For The Win) Award — the team/player who had the most shared/liked buzzer-beater during the regular season.
– Kevin Durant’s game winner against the Dallas Mavericks (December 29, 2012)

• The BIG (Best in Game) Award — the player who best utilized social media in a creative way across multiple platforms.
– Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619)

• The #TrendSetter Award — the player who received the most mentions this season via Twitter.
-Kobe Bryant

• The Thumbs-Up Award — the player who had the most likes or whose Facebook posts received the most likes.
-Kobe Bryant

• The Triple Threat Award — the former player turned analyst who is the best person to follow via social media.
– Shaquille O’Neal (@Shaq)

• The Social Breakout Award — the player seeing the biggest increase in popularity with fans across Twitter and Facebook this season.
– Jeremy Lin (presented prior to the show)

• The Snap Shot Award — the player who posted the best picture of the year.
– Landry Fields — Couch Made Famous (@landryfields)

• The LOL Award — the team/players who had the most shared/liked blooper video during the regular season.
– JaVale McGee (@JavaleMcGee34)