Tennis Ace Serena Williams Takes Home an ESPY for Best Female Tennis Player; Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant Honored as Best NBA Player; U.S. Olympians Recognized in Several Categories; The Sixth-Straight Best in Sport Win for Roger Federer; Tiger Woods’ Streak of Consecutive Best Golfer Years Ends with Phil Mickelson Winning
The biggest stars from the worlds of sports and entertainment gathered in downtown Los Angeles at the NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE on Wednesday night to celebrate the best sports stories of the year at The 2010 ESPYs co-presented by Capital One and Castrol EDGE. Seth Meyers entertained the all-star audience throughout the night with a humorous and creative performance that emphasized his passion for sports. Throughout the show, various pre-taped segments ran featuring Steve Carell, Will Forte, Jon Hamm, Peyton Manning, Jack McBrayer, Seth Meyers, Tracy Morgan, Paul Rudd and Jason Sudeikis. Clint Black made a surprise appearance debuting an original song created just for The ESPYs.
The New Orleans Saints were honored for Best Team and Saints quarterback Drew Brees won for Best Male Athlete, Best Championship Performance and Best NFL Player. Best Female Athlete and Best Female U.S. Olympian went to Lindsey Vonn. U.S. Soccer player Landon Donovan took home ESPYS in two categories: Best Moment and Best MLS Player. The NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers added to their trophy collection with Phil Jackson winning his fourth overall ESPY for Best Coach/Manager. Other four-time winners include Best NHL Player Sidney Crosby, Diana Taurasi for Best WNBA Player and Lorena Ochoa for Best Female Golfer, winning for the second straight year. Shaun White won for Best Male U.S. Olympian and Best Action Sport Athlete, making him a winner of seven overall ESPYs. Roger Federer and Walter Ray Williams, Jr. each earned their seventh all-time ESPY by winning for Best Male Tennis Player and Best Bowler, respectively.
Best Game went to USA vs. Canada Hockey, where the United States had forced overtime on Zach Parise’s goal with 24.4 seconds left in regulation and Crosby scored the winning goal in overtime. Best Play, voted on live during the show via text vote, ESPN.com and Facebook went to Brett Favre for his game-winning touchdown throw to Greg Lewis during the game against San Fancisco.
The Arthur Ashe Courage Award – which recognizes individuals whose contributions transcend sports – was awarded to the Thomas Family for their courage to forgive. In June 2009, high school football coach Ed Thomas was shot and killed in the football team’s weight room by 24-year-old Mark Becker, one of his former players, who had been released from psychiatric care despite severe problems. Brett Favre presented the award to Ed Thomas’ wife Jan and sons Aaron and Todd. For more than 30 years, the Thomas and Becker families of Parkersburg, Iowa, were bonded together by church, school and their community, and the bond of these two families remains unbroken despite the killing.
In another emotional moment, Denver Nuggets Coach George Karl was presented the Jimmy V ESPY for Perseverance, in honor of the late Jim Valvano and The V Foundation for Cancer Research. Karl is a survivor of prostate cancer, and was diagnosed with neck and throat cancer earlier this year, causing him to miss games and practices. The ESPY for Best Comeback was awarded to tennis star Kim Clijsters, who became the first unseeded woman in history to win the U.S. Open.
Other ESPY winners included Albert Pujols, who won his fifth overall ESPY in the Best MLB Player category and Jimmie Johnson with his third straight ESPY for Best Driver. Additional winners included Calvin Borel (Best Jockey), John Wall (Best Male College Athlete) Floyd Mayweather (Best Fighter) and Usain Bolt (Best Track and Field Athlete).
In addition to those named above, this year’s guest presenters included Chris Berman, Kenny Chesney, Emmanuelle Chriqui (Entourage), Brooklyn Decker (Sports Illustrated cover model), Zac Efron (Charlie St. Cloud), Will Ferrell (The Other Guys), Ashley Greene (The Twilight Saga), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Samuel L. Jackson, January Jones (Mad Men), Marisa Miller (America’s Supermodel), Tracy Morgan (30 Rock), Danica Patrick, Adam Samberg, Stuart Scott, Mark Wahlberg, Shaun White and Luke Wilson.
Below is a complete list of 2010 winners.
The 2010 ESPYs – WINNERS
ARTHUR ASHE COURAGE AWARD: The Thomas Family
JIMMY V AWARD FOR PERSEVERANCE: George Karl, Denver Nuggets Coach
BEST COMEBACK: Kim Clijsters, Tennis player
BEST IN SPORT
BEST FEMALE ATHLETE: Lindsey Vonn, Olympic Skier
BEST MALE ATHLETE: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
BEST MOMENT: Landon Donovan, World Cup – U.S. vs. Algeria
BEST TEAM: New Orleans Saints
BEST COACH/MANAGER: Phil Jackson, Los Angeles Lakers
BEST GAME: Canada vs. USA Olympic Hockey Men’s Gold Medal game
BEST CHAMPIONSHIP PERFORMANCE: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
BEST PLAY: Brett Favre
BEST UPSET: Northern Iowa shocks No. 1 Kansas
BEST BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE: Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans
BEST RECORD-BREAKING PERFORMANCE: Isner vs. Mahut at Wimbledon
BEST SPORTS MOVIE: The Blind Side
BEST MALE COLLEGE ATHLETE: John Wall, Kentucky Men’s Basketball
BEST FEMALE COLLEGE ATHLETE: Maya Moore, Connecticut Women’s Basketball
BEST MALE ATHLETE WITH A DISABILITY: Steve Cash, Hockey
BEST FEMALE ATHLETE WITH A DISABILITY: Amy Palmiero-Winters, Track and Field
BEST BASEBALL PLAYER: Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals
BEST NBA PLAYER: Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
BEST WNBA PLAYER: Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury
BEST NFL PLAYER: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
BEST NHL PLAYER: Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
BEST MLS PLAYER: Landon Donovan, Los Angeles Galaxy
BEST MALE ACTION SPORT ATHLETE: Shaun White, Skateboarding/Snowboarding
BEST FEMALE ACTION SPORT ATHLETE: Torah Bright, Snowboarding
BEST BOWLER: Walter Ray Williams Jr.
BEST DRIVER: Jimmie Johnson
BEST FIGHTER: Floyd Mayweather
BEST MALE GOLFER: Phil Mickelson
BEST FEMALE GOLFER: Lorena Ochoa
BEST JOCKEY: Calvin Borel
BEST MALE TENNIS PLAYER: Roger Federer
BEST FEMALE TENNIS PLAYER: Serena Williams
BEST US MALE OLYMPIAN: Shaun White, Skateboarding/Snowboarding
BEST US FEMALE OLYMPIAN: Lindsey Vonn, Skier
BEST TRACK AND FIELD ATHLETE: Usain Bolt
CAPITAL ONE BEST COLLEGE ATHLETIC PROGRAM: Duke Men’s Athletics and Stanford Women’s Athletics
CASTROL EDGE PERFORMANCE UNDER PRESSURE AWARD: Landon Donovan
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 2010 ESPYs will recognize both sport-specific achievements, such as “Best MLB Player” and “Best WNBA Player,” as well as best-in-sport winners, such as “Best Team” or “Best Female Athlete” that pit nominees from different sports against each other. The ESPYs honor ESPN’s commitment to The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a partnership launched with the late Jim Valvano at the inaugural ESPYs in 1993.