The 2023 ESPY Awards: all you need to know! The biggest names in sports walked the red carpet at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre. They celebrated an impressive year of athletic achievements with some Hollywood glamour.
The ESPY Awards celebrated its 31st anniversary this year. ESPN’s annual awards show recognizes champion athletes and their achievements. This high-energy event doesn’t only honor the biggest wins, upsets, and record-breaking performances. It also recognizes instances of determination and perseverance far beyond the competitive arena.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Argentina soccer star Lionel Messi were two of the night’s big winners. Both of which took home a handful of awards. Other top nominees included Mikaela Shiffrin and LSU women’s basketball player Angel Reese. Each won an award for the breakthrough athlete.
The show went hostless this year due to the current writer’s strike. It still forged ahead with an all-star lineup of presenters and performers. Including Lil Wayne, H.E.R., Dwayne Wade, and WWE superstars Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch. This year’s ceremony will also highlight inspiring, courageous athletes through 3 pillar awards.
Mahomes won the ESPY for best NFL player. His team won the ESPY for the best team. Also, the ESPY for best athlete in men’s sports went to baseball player Aaron Judge.
In the women’s category, Shiffrin won the award for female athlete of the Year for her dominant season with the Olympic skiing team. She beat out the likes of tennis star Serena Williams and track and field athlete Allyson Felix.
Reese’s win for breakout athlete of the year was another big one. She rose to prominence with her breakout 2023 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship title. She went up against Caitlin Clark, Brock Purdy, and James Paxton.
Throughout the night, the hosts kept the crowd laughing. Danica Patrick made some shade shots at LeBron James’ hairline, while NBA All-Star JR Smith got roasted for his Game 1 mishap in the NBA Finals. Tim Kurkjian of “Full House” and Robin Roberts both praised the late Jim Valvano for his inspirational ‘Don’t ever give up’ speech at the first ESPYs in 1993.