The ESPY Awards took place live from the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles last night. Prior to the show, athletes and celebrities alike walked the red carpet outside of LA Live, answering questions and showing off their (sometimes questionable) fashion choices.
BSO was fortunate enough to be a part of the festivities, hitting the red carpet to talk to some of the most famous athletes in the world. With Drake hosting the show, there was an undeniable air of excitement amongst the athletes, celebrities and press about the event. After a slow start, the red carpet really began to pick up an hour before the show and there was a wide variety of stars making themselves available to the media.
Some stars wanted to avoid media at all costs such as Thunder guard Russell Westbrook and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who simply told media that he did not want to talk.
richard sherman just walked straight by and said hes not doing any interviews. welp. #ESPYS2014
— Belal Abdel (@ItsBelal_A) July 17, 2014
There were also some stars not willing to take questions, but more than happy to pose for a few pictures, including Heisman-winning quarterback Jameis Winston of Florida State, who avoided the flashy look and went with a nice, clean suit.
While some wanted to avoid questions at all costs, there were also those who couldn’t be happier to spend some time with the press waiting for them on the red carpet.
The unquestioned MVP of the red carpet was the man, the myth, the legend Metta World Peace. MWP started things off answering questions from BSO and eventually the conversation turned fun when his social media exploits were brought up.
“All social media can get you in trouble. That’s it. These young guys grew up in this world, in this Twitter world.” World Peace said, “We grew up in the newspaper world, so we still writing, we Flintstones.”
After comparing himself to none other than the Bedrock legend, World Peace decided to do some interviewing of his own. Seriously.
While some of the bigger stars were trying to get away from the red carpet as fast they could, MWP was able to stop stars like Paul George and Kevin Durant to ask a few questions in a way only Metta can.
The show itself was a commemoration of achievements in the past year of sports, but there was an undeniable eye towards the future for some of the younger stars in sports today.
Kings center DeMarcus Cousins was confident that his Sacramento squad would finally be able to get into the playoffs after a long absence from the postseason. Despite losing starting point guard Isaiah Thomas to free agency, Cousins feels his team is ready to compete in the loaded West.
“It hurts to lose teammates, but we have to look to the future.” Cousins said, “We have the pieces to challenge for a playoff spot and I really like the team we have right now.”
Rising star of the Detroit Pistons Andre Drummond echoed Cousins sentiments, feeling confident about his team making the playoffs out East.
“Yeah man, that’s the goal, that’s definitely the goal.” Drummond said, “I can’t tell the future, but I feel like we’re gonna have a good year this year. We got a lot of good guys on the team, a good group, so I’m really excited for it.”
Cleveland Browns running back Chris Ogbonnaya was excited about the additions to his team, but took a more measured and hopeful approach to the Browns possible success this upcoming season.
“You don’t really worry about what’s on paper, because ultimately you have to play every Sunday.” Ogbonnaya said, “For us, the most important thing will be consistency, and doing our best job to prepare every week.”
Despite the award show being a fun atmosphere for athletes to unwind and have a good time, there was still a competitive nature amongst the nominees. Professional boxer and undefeated Champion Andre Ward wasn’t shy about his desire to win his nomination for “Best Fighter” in a category featuring names like Floyd Mayweather and Ronda Rousey.
“I want to win. It’s as simple as that man.” Ward said, “I don’t want to lose a card game, I don’t want to lose a basketball game. It doesn’t matter, anything when it comes to competitiveness, I want to win.”
As is often the case on the red carpet, fashion played a key role in everyone’s ESPY attendance. From odd hats with graffiti on them (former WCW star Buff Bagwell, seriously, Buff Bagwell) to abnormally large bow-ties similar to the one ESPN star Jay Williams wore, there was no shortage of interesting outfits on the red carpet.
Swaggy P himself, Nick Young, was a red carpet host, and he did not disappoint in the fashion department.
However, the undisputed winner for most eye-catching outfit on the red carpet was New York Giants cornerback Walter Thurmond.
Now, whether or not it was attention-grabbing for good or bad reasons is up to you to decide.
One of the most popular topics on the red carpet was of course social media amongst athletes. Whether it’s taking selfies or interacting with fans on Twitter, athletes everywhere have embraced social media as a part of their everyday lives.
“I think if you’re going to be an athlete today and you want to connect with the fans you have to (take part in social media). You got to embrace it, it’s just how you use it. I don’t think you have to put your whole life on social media, you need to give the fans enough to know that you’re real.” said Ward, “It’s a gift and a curse, because you get to reach people but you also have these people hiding behind keyboards saying all types of deragotory things, it comes with the territory. I think there’s more good with social media, if it’s used right, than bad.”
Ward’s sentiments were echoed by a number of stars, who heeded younger players to take caution with what they put online for everyone to see.
“It’s a part of how things are these days. You just have to do things the right way.” said the Browns Ogbonnaya, “You know things happen, but ultimately you just have to do things the right way so you don’t have to worry about those things.”
Drummond agreed that players need to be careful online, offering this advice to recently-drafted NBA players coming into the league next season.
“I wouldn’t stay off it (social media), I would just say watch what you say and choose your words wisely on there.” the Pistons star advised.
From selfies to loud outfits, there was a bit of everything on last night’s red carpet. As expected, the ESPY’s delivered some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment prior to what was a pretty great awards show.
As the red carpet closed out, celebrities rushed inside to watch Drake and hopefully win some awards, but not before Deebo himself, Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister from Friday, finished things off right.
Just another night on the red carpet at one of the most interesting awards shows around.