The 2013 ESPY awards are officially in the books, as the top athletes and sports personalities in the world were honored. While countless awards went to deserving recipients, there were a select few awards that simply didn't fit.
The question is, what were the worst selections of the evening?
Certain individuals saw their reputation trump reality, as their reception of an award was based more off of popularity than validity. Others were handed awards that had us struggling to explain how it happened in such an unpredictable manner.
One way or another, there were some awards that should have gone elsewhere.
3. Best Fighter: Floyd Mayweather
If you're asking me who the best fighter in the world is, I won't hesitate to tell you it's Floyd Mayweather. Not only is he the pound-for-pound king of boxing, but he's also the biggest draw in any form of fighting and a genuine active legend.
With that being said, the best fighter of 2013 has been Jon Jones.
Mayweather has fought just once since the 2012 ESPYs, defeating Robert Guerrero to regain his world title. Jones, meanwhile, has won two high-profile fights and become the unquestioned king of the MMA world.
Unfortunately, Mayweather's earned reputation outweighed a full year of success.
Jones defeated Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen by submission and TKO, respectively. Not only were they two of the biggest fights of the year, but they also proved that Jones is the best in the world at his craft.
Mayweather deserves it any other year, but with only one fight under his belt, this was Jones' award to own.
2. Best Championship Performance: LeBron James
LeBron James deserved to win Best NBA Player, Best Male Athlete and the joint award for the Best Team. What LeBron didn't deserve to be honored as, however, is the player who put on the best championship performance of the year.
Sorry LeBron fans, but this is an unbiased truth.
During Miami's Game 2 victory of the NBA Finals, LeBron was a virtual non-factor as Mario Chalmers helped the Heat pull away. Once he finally turned it on, the game was decided and out of hand, resulting in him finishing with a deceiving 17 points on 7-of-17 shooting.
While he was nothing short of sensational during the Heat's Game 4 win, it was Dwyane Wade who led Miami to victory in that series-tying affair.
In Game 6, LeBron shot 3-of-12 through three quarters of play. He proceeded to lose his headband and put on a legendary fourth-quarter performance, all leading up to the final minute of play.
A minute in which he committed two turnovers that should have ended the game, missed a three-point field-goal attempt to tie things up and saw Ray Allen hit a game-tying three that will live on in history.
Even as LeBron redeemed himself during Game 7 and thus won the NBA Finals MVP award, he was far from the best championship performer. Instead, he was a player who carried Miami to the Finals.
As for who should've won, that would be Joe Flacco.
Flacco led the Baltimore Ravens to the 2013 Super Bowl, taking on the vaunted San Francisco 49ers' defense. By taking on, of course, we mean to say that he picked them apart as if they were a varsity squad.
Flacco threw for 287 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions on 66.7 percent passing—unfortunately, short-term memory plagued this result.
1. Best Play: Jadeveon Clowney
Jadeveon Clowney landed the 2013 ESPY award for Best Play after delivering one of the most bone-chilling hits you'll ever see. If you ask Vincent Smith, he'll either hate that it happened to him or offer up praise.
The fact of the matter is, Clowney's hit was entertaining and Ray Allen's three-point field goal was legendary.
There's no question that you could repeat Clowney's hit on Smith for days upon days. In fact, months later, there are still those out there who watch the play on a daily basis.
With that being said, we cannot stress this enough—Clowney's hit was powerful, Allen's shot was influential.
If Allen had missed his game-tying three-pointer, the San Antonio Spurs would have won the 2013 NBA championship. Instead, Allen converted from distance, sent the game to overtime and the Miami Heat thus won it all.
Last time I checked, the most important play of a game is the one that decides the outcome—so how did this selection make sense?
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