Nominees Announced for The 25th ESPYS

The 25th ESPYS return to ABC for the third year with a star-studded evening celebrating major sports achievements, reliving unforgettable moments, and saluting the leading performers and performances of the past year in sports.

Top celebrities from sports and entertainment will gather to recognize nominees and honor winners in categories such as “Best Game,” “Best Team,” “Best Female Athlete,” “Best Upset,” “Best Male U.S. Olympic Athlete” and more.

The 25th ESPYS will also showcase inspiring human stories through three pillar awards – the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, the Jimmy V Perseverance Award and the Pat Tillman Award for Service. The show supports ESPN’s ongoing commitment to The V Foundation for Cancer Research, launched by ESPN with the late Jim Valvano in 1993.

The 25th ESPYS will be hosted by five-time NFL MVP and two-time Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning. The 25th ESPYS will be broadcast live on ABC Wednesday, July 12, at 8 p.m. ET from the Microsoft Theater in Downtown Los Angeles.


  • In Best Male Athlete, 2009 winner Michael Phelps is joined by three newcomers to the category – Sidney Crosby, Russell Westbrook, and Kris Bryant. Westbrook has history working in his favor, given that the award has gone to an NBA player every year since 2011.
  • Oklahoma softball’s Shay Knighten and Clemson football’s Deshaun Watson are both nominated for Best Championship Performance, the first time since 2005 that multiple college athletes have competed for the honor. They are joined by NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant and Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady.
  • Michael Phelps is chasing a third ESPY for Best Record-Breaking Performance, an honor he earned following both the Beijing and London Olympics. He is joined in the category by the NFL head coach with the most Super Bowl rings ever, Bill Belichick, the WNBA all-time scoring leader, Diana Taurasi, and the spoiler of Oscar Robertson’s 55-year triple double record, Russell Westbrook.
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins are the only Best Team nominee returning from 2016. They are joined by six other impressive squads, including US women’s gymnastics “Final Five.”
  • Defending “Best NBA Player” LeBron James graces the category for the 13th-straight year, a streak he has maintained since 2005. The competitive field of challengers includes Finals MVP Kevin Durant, triple-double machine Russell Westbrook, two-way star Kawhi Leonard, and league-leading distributor James Harden.
  • Gymnast Simone Biles, sprinter Allyson Felix, and swimmers Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel gathered a collective haul of 12 gold medals at the Rio Olympics. Now they’re competing against one another for Best Female US Olympic Athlete.

Author: Chris Taylor

Senior Director of Ball State Sports Link & Digital Sports Production | Lecturer of Telecommunications | 2019 Dean's Faculty Award Winner | 2017 Recipient of SVG College Sports Summit Pioneer Award | Storyteller | Producer | Emmy Award Winner | Sports Media Junkie | Social Media Strategist | Certified Bob Ross® Instructor | Country Music Enthusiast | Goldendoodle Owner | Follow me on Twitter @BallStateCT

1 thought on “Nominees Announced for The 25th ESPYS

  1. I think that it was TERRIBLE that the life and accomplishments of bobsedder Steven Holcomb was in NO WAY mentioned at the ESPYS this year!!! (Not even in the section honoring those that had passed!) He was a true champion, who had many world titles, broke 2 62 year podium (in the Olympics) droughts, and was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame. (These are just SOME of his accomplishments!). He left this world way too soon, and the bobsledding community, as well as the US, lost something special! I was under the impression that the ESPYS was to honor ALL great athletes!!

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