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 2011 ESPYs co-presented by Capital One and Castrol EDGE, hosted by Seth Meyers.
The city of Dallas had a big night as the Mavericks were honored for Best Team, coach Rick Carlisle took home an ESPY for Best Coach and Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki won for Best NBA Player and Best Male Athlete (first NBA Player to win in this category since Michael Jordan at the first ESPYs in 1993). Best Championship Performance and Best NHL Player went to Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins. Skier Lindsey Vonn became the first back-to-back winner of Best Female Athlete award since Annika Sorenstam in 2005/2006. Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay won Best MLB Player and Best Moment (for his postseason no-hitter against the Reds).
Best Game went to Eagles vs. Giants, where the Philadelphia Eagles rallied to beat the New York Giants by scoring 28 points in the final 7:18 of the game to win 38-31. Best Play, voted on live during the show via text vote, ESPN.com and Facebook went to Amy Wambach for her goal in the Women’s World Cup quarterfinals.
The Arthur Ashe Courage Award, which recognizes individuals whose contributions transcend sports, was awarded to Dewey Bozella, who found strength and purpose through boxing during his 26 years of imprisonment for a crime he didn’t commit. The award, which Kiefer Sutherland presented to Bozella and his family, honored the courage and conviction that lead Bozella to the ultimate path of freedom.
In another touching moment, Anthony Robles received the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance, in honor of the late Jim Valvano and The V Foundation for Cancer Research. Robles recently finished his career as the best amateur wrestler in the country by winning the 125-pound NCAA title despite being born with one leg. Jay Leno presented the award to Robles, who also won an ESPY for Best Male Athlete with a Disability.
Other ESPY winners included Aaron Rodgers (Best NFL Player), Blake Griffin (Best Breakthrough Athlete) and Diana Taurasi (Best WNBA Player). Mark Herzlich won Best Comeback for returning to the field after overcoming cancer and Best Upset went to VCU for its NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament run. Jimmer Fredette and Maya Moore won Best Male College Athlete and Best Female College Athlete, respectively.
This year’s guest presenters included Jason Bateman (The Change-Up), Chris Berman, Justin Bieber, Emmanuelle Chriqui (Entourage), Brooklyn Decker (actress/model), Chris Evans (Captain America: The First Avenger), Cee Lo Green (musician/The Voice), Amber Heard (The Playboy Club), Jonah Hill (MoneyBall), Jimmie Johnson, Jay Leno, Kevin Love, Rachel Nichols (Conan the Barbarian), Danica Patrick, Ryan Reynolds (The Change-Up), Aaron Rodgers, Stuart Scott, Maria Sharpova, Amar’e Stoudemire, Tim Tebow, Justin Timberlake (Friends With Benefits), Kerry Washington (Scandal) and Serena Williams.
Below is a complete list of 2011 winners.
The 2011 ESPYs – WINNERS
ARTHUR ASHE COURAGE AWARD: Dewey Bozella
JIMMY V AWARD FOR PERSEVERANCE: Anthony Robles
BEST COMEBACK: Mark Herzlich
BEST IN SPORT
BEST FEMALE ATHLETE: Lindsey Vonn, Olympic Skier
BEST MALE ATHLETE: Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
BEST MOMENT: Roy Halladay postseason no-hitter
BEST TEAM: Dallas Mavericks
BEST COACH/MANAGER: Rick Carlisle, Dallas Mavericks
BEST GAME: Eagles vs. Giants
BEST CHAMPIONSHIP PERFORMANCE: Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins
BEST PLAY: Amy Wambach, Women’s World Cup goal
BEST UPSET: VCU NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament run
BEST BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE: Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
BEST RECORD-BREAKING PERFORMANCE: Rory McIlroy
BEST SPORTS MOVIE: The Fighter
BEST MALE COLLEGE ATHLETE: Jimmer Fredette, BYU Basketball
BEST FEMALE COLLEGE ATHLETE: Maya Moore, Connecticut Women’s Basketball
BEST MALE ATHLETE WITH A DISABILITY: Anthony Robles, wrestling
BEST FEMALE ATHLETE WITH A DISABILITY: Mallory Weggemann, swimming
BEST MLB PLAYER: Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies
BEST NBA PLAYER: Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
BEST WNBA PLAYER: Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury
BEST NFL PLAYER: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
BEST NHL PLAYER: Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins
BEST MLS PLAYER: Landon Donovan, Los Angeles Galaxy
BEST MALE ACTION SPORT ATHLETE: Shaun White, Skateboarding/Snowboarding
BEST FEMALE ACTION SPORT ATHLETE: Stephanie Gilmore, surfing
BEST BOWLER: Jason Belmonte
BEST DRIVER: Jimmie Johnson
BEST FIGHTER: Manny Pacquiao
BEST MALE GOLFER: Rory McIlroy
BEST FEMALE GOLFER: Cristie Kerr
BEST JOCKEY: John Velazquez
BEST MALE TENNIS PLAYER: Rafael Nadal
BEST FEMALE TENNIS PLAYER: Serena Williams
BEST TRACK AND FIELD ATHLETE: Tyson Gay
CAPITAL ONE CUP: Stanford Women’s Athletics and Florida Men’s Athletics
CASTROL EDGE NFL STRONGEST PERFORMANCE AWARD: Arian Foster
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 2011 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 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.