The biggest stars from the worlds of sports and entertainment gathered at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Wednesday night to celebrate the best sports moments of the year at The 2016 ESPYS Presented by Capital One. The show was hosted by WWE Superstar John Cena and aired on ABC.
LeBron James took home his third Best Male Athlete ESPY and his fifth Best NBA Player ESPY, having not won either since 2013, as well as his third Best Championship Performance win. James also shared the Best Team award and Best Moment award with his fellow Cavaliers, who upset the Warriors to earn their first-ever NBA title, and Cleveland’s first in 52 years.
After a third-straight nomination, University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball’s departing star, Breanna Stewart, finally secured a Best Female Athlete title. She topped stiff competition from WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne, record-breaking swimmer Katie Ledecky, and world-leading gymnast Simone Biles.
The Chicago Cubs’ Jake Arrieta earned Best Breakthrough Athlete honors, becoming the first baseball player to take home that award since Alfonso Soriano in 2003. Additionally, best Record-Breaking Performance went to Stephen Curry, whose 402 regular season 3-pointers shattered the single-season record Curry had set himself the previous season.
Three awards served as the emotional pinnacle of the sports celebration. Vice President Joe Biden presented Craig Sager with the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance, which is presented annually in honor of the late Jim Valvano and his V Foundation for Cancer Research. Sager was recognized for his unwavering strength and determination in his fight against cancer. Zaevion Dobson, a young man from Knoxville, TN, was honored posthumously with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for selflessly giving his life to shield two young women from gunfire. Zaevion’s mother Zenobia Dobson accepted the honor on his behalf, which was presented to her by Stephen Curry. And the Pat Tillman Award for Service, was presented to world-class paraswimmer Sgt. Elizabeth Marks for her strength through adversity and continued service to her country.
Justin Timberlake presented the Icon Award to Kobe Bryant, Peyton Manning and Abby Wambach, three legendary athletes who retired from their respective sports this year. The evening also included a touching tribute to Muhammad Ali who passed away last month.
This year’s presenters included:
Chris Berman (ESPN Sportscaster), Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Skylar Diggins (Dallas Wings), Lisa Leslie (retired WNBA player), David Oyelowo (Queen of Katwe), Usher Raymond IV (Hands of Stone) Lindsey Vonn (American World Skier), Dwyane Wade (Chicago Bulls), and JJ Watt (Houston Texans), among others.
In addition, top athletes and celebrities who attended the show included:
Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh Steelers), Dez Bryant (Dallas Cowboys), Kobe Bryant (retired NBA player), Eric Hosmer (Kansas City Royals), Kerri Walsh Jennings (professional beach volleyball player), DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers), Sydney Leroux (FC Kansas City), Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers), Peyton Manning (retired NFL player), Von Miller (Denver Broncos), Danica Patrick (NASCAR driver), JR Smith (Cleveland Cavaliers), Abby Wambach (retired professional soccer player) and more.
COMPLETE LIST OF THE 2016 ESPYS WINNERS
Best Record-Breaking Performance: Stephen Curry
Best Breakthrough Athlete: Jake Arrieta
Best Play: Aaron Rodgers to Richard Rodgers
Best Team: Cleveland Cavaliers
Best Female Athlete: Breanna Stewart
Best Male Athlete: LeBron James
Best Championship Performance: LeBron James
Best Game: NBA Finals Game 7
Best NBA Player: LeBron James
Best MLB Player: Bryce Harper
Best Female Action Sports Athlete: Jamie Anderson
Best Male Action Sports Athlete: Ryan Dungey
Best Jockey: Mario Gutierrez
Best Bowler: Jason Belmonte
Best Female College Athlete: Breanna Stewart
Best Female Athlete with a Disability: Tatyana McFadden
Best Male Athlete with a Disability: Richard Browne
Best Upset: Holly Holm over Ronda Rousey
Best Coach: Tyronn Lue
Best International Athlete: Cristiano Ronaldo
Best Fighter: Conor McGregor
Best NFL Player: Cam Newton
Best NHL Player: Sidney Crosby
Best WNBA Player: Maya Moore
Best Male College Athlete: Buddy Hield
Best Driver: Kyle Busch
Best Male Golfer: Jordan Spieth
Best Female Golfer: Lydia Ko
Best Male Tennis Player: Novak Djokovic
Best Female Tennis Player: Serena Williams
Best MLS player: Sebastian Giovinco
Jimmy V Award for Perseverance: Craig Sager
Arthur Ashe Award for Courage: Zaevion Dobson
Pat Tillman Award for Service: Sergeant Elizabeth Marks
Best Moment: Cleveland wins first title in 52 years
Best Comeback Athlete: Eric Berry
Icon Award: Kobe Bryant, Peyton Manning and Abby Wambach
About The ESPYS
The ESPYS gather top celebrities from sports and entertainment to commemorate the past year in sports by recognizing major sports achievements, reliving unforgettable moments and saluting the leading performers and performances. The 2016 ESPYS will recognize both sport-specific achievements, such as “Best MLB Player” and “Best WNBA Player,” and best-in-sport winners, such as “Best Team” or “Best Female Athlete” that pit nominees from different sports against each other. The ESPYS support ESPN’s ongoing commitment to The V Foundation for Cancer Research, launched by ESPN with the late Jim Valvano in 1993.