Sports fans of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are rejoicing as the team is given accolades during the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly (ESPY) Awards.
Awards Given to James During ESPY
This season has been good, not only for the Cavaliers’ superstar player LeBron James, but also for his team. The Golden State Warriors (GSW) managed to win the trophy during the 2014-2015 finals by winning six games. This time though, James led his team in winning the championship game with a 3-1 record against the same team that beat them the last time, the Warriors. After 52 years, the Cavaliers were finally able to get hold of a champion title. James did a good job in helping the team throughout the game and the playoffs through assists, points, rebounds, blocks, and steals. James was named the best National Basketball Association (NBA) player during the ESPY awards, best championship performance, and the best male athlete.
Cleveland Cavaliers First Championship Win in Over 50 Years
This long-awaited moment finally came in Cleveland as the Cavaliers finally laid their hands on the NBA trophy after more than 50 years! Fans have waited a long time for this golden moment. At last, they were able to grab it, and Cavaliers received recognition for it. According to Cleveland’s website, the team celebrated as they were able to bag seven out of eight awards for which they were were nominated. Events such ESPY is big for athletes because this awards ceremony is an Oscar-like recognition in the world of sports.
Golden State Warriors’ Star Stephen Curry Receives the Night’s First Award
The Cavaliers may have bagged awards during ESPY, but the recognition of the night was given to Stephen Curry, the star player of the team that rivaled the Cavaliers during the NBA championship game. It was not surprising as Curry was named the NBA MVP two years in a row. He defeated his own record of the most three-point throws made in a season. Curry recognized their loss, even if he got the award. According to ABC News, he said it was a great year for them, but they were beaten by a great team.
Retired Athletes Received the Icon Award
ESPY also recognized accomplishments of recently-retired players in their own field, namely Kobe Bryant (NBA), Peyton Manning (National Football League), and Abby Wambach (Women’s soccer). The crowd gave a standing ovation to the three athletes at the Microsoft Theater when Justin Timberlake presented their award. Sports clips showed each of them gave a short speech after receiving the accolade.
Goodbye and Hello
While the aforementioned stars bade goodbye to their careers, Eric Berry, the defensive back of Kansas City, had a different story. He made an astounding comeback in less than a year after battling cancer. His performance was great and was enough to merit recognition during the awards night. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in November 2014, causing him to miss the rest of the season. His health did not stop his determination to continue playing football. In a mere nine months of treatment, the team’s physician and his personal doctors cleared him to return to playing football.
Recognizing Womens’ Power
Sports used to be dominated by men. Due to historic struggles for the recognition of women’s rights, female athletes now take part in the field that used to be only for men. As such, Breanna Stewart, the Seattle Storm’s current center and former star of University of Connecticut, was awarded the trophy for best female athlete. She won against a pool of other, nominated athletes such as the gymnast Simone Biles, swimmer Katie Ledecky, and fellow WNBA player, Elena Delle Donne.
Athlete’s Continued Determination to Play and Inspire
The life of an athlete is no easy game. They are faced with life’s daily challenges, but they continue to play. Some of them may have retired, but that does not mean they are completely out of the sports’ world. They still hope that, even in the periphery, they will be able to challenge and inspire the next generation of athletes.
Being an athlete takes a lot of determination. The ESPY awards serves as a consolation and a simple reminder to players that their efforts are recognized. Sports controversies may be present, but it is not enough to make an athlete’s heart falter.