ESPY Awards 2013 Winners: Recapping All the Action from LA

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IJuly 18, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 17:  TV personality Robin Roberts speaks onstage after being presented the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at The 2013 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 17, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images for ESPY)
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

LeBron James and Serena Williams took home the top honors at the ESPY Awards by winning best male and female athlete, respectively. 

Their wins were just a couple of notable highlights from the star-packed awards show put on by ESPN. 

Neither win was much of a surprise. James is coming off one of the greatest individual seasons in NBA history and a second straight NBA championship. To win the award, he beat out Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Detroit Tiger Miguel Cabrera. 

It was one of three ESPY's James took home on the night. 

Meanwhile, Williams also faced tough competition. She had to beat out two Olympic stars in Gabby Douglas and Missy Franklin, as well as hoops phenom Brittney Griner. 

Given that Serena has been the WTA's No. 1 player for the past year, and is 46-3 this year, it is hard to argue with her selection. 

Check out the complete list of winners, and then I'll highlight three of the more notable wins. 

 

Complete List of Winners:

Best Male AthleteLeBron James 
Best Female AthleteSerena Williams
Best Championship PerformanceLeBron James
Best Breakthrough AthleteColin Kaepernick
Best Record-Breaking PerformanceMichael Phelps
Best UpsetFlorida Gulf Coast over Georgetown 
Best GameHeat vs. Spurs Game 6
Best MomentJack Hoffman
Best PlayJadeveon Clowney's big hit
Best TeamMiami Heat
Best Coach/ManagerRick Pitino 
Best ComebackAdrian Peterson
Best International AthleteUsain Bolt 
Best NFL PlayerAdrian Peterson
Best MLB PlayerMiguel Cabrera
Best NHL PlayerSidney Crosby
Best DriverRyan Hunter-Reay
Best NBA PlayerLeBron James
Best WNBA PlayerCandace Parker 
Best FighterFloyd Mayweather Jr.  
Best Male GolferTiger Woods
Best Female GolferStacy Lewis
Best Male Tennis PlayerNovak Djokovic 
Best Female Tennis PlayerSerena Williams 
Best Male College AthleteJohnny Manziel
Best Female College AthleteBrittney Griner 
Best Male Action Sport AthleteNyjah Huston
Best Female Action Sport AthleteStephanie Gilmore
Best JockeyJoel Rosario
Best Male Athlete With A DisabilityJeremy Campbell
Best Female Athlete With A DisabilityJessica Long 
Best BowlerPete Weber 
Best MLS PlayerThierry Henry
Best Male US Olympic AthleteMichael Phelps
Best Female US Olympic AthleteMissy Franklin 

 

Robin Roberts Is Celebrated with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award

The unquestioned highlight of the night came when Robin Roberts received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

The Good Morning America anchor was a great athlete in her time and she was one of the faces of ESPN for years. However, it has been her inspirational perseverance through cancer and consequently a related illness that made this award so touching. 

Roberts survived breast cancer in 2008. She later was diagnosed with MDS (a rare blood and bone marrow disease). She was diagnosed with that disease in 2012 and it came from a side effect of her cancer treatment. 

The power of Roberts to connect with people and inspire them to action was in full display when, as USA Today's Nate Scott points out, the day after Roberts announced her illness on TV, the national registry of bone marrow donors had a 1,800 percent increase in donors. 

Roberts, to no surprise, put her speaking skills on full display while accepting the award: 

It was a wonderful moment whether you're a sports fan or not. 

 

Jadeveon Clowney's Big Hit Wins Best Play

The Best Play ESPY is always one of my favorite awards of the night. There are always so many amazing plays that happen in a year's worth of sports action that it is nice to recount the most impressive. It usually provides for an eclectic mix.

The mix of sports was not as great this year. There were three basketball plays and Jadeveon Clowney with "The Hit."

The basketball plays were worthy of consideration. There was NBA player DeAndre Jordan’s ferocious alley-oop dunk, Ray Allen’s 3-pointer for the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals to help complete a miraculous comeback and a 55-foot buzzer-beater by high school basketball player Khalil Edney.

However, while all of these moments were spectacular, they have nothing on this: 

Clowney hit Michigan running back Vincent Smith so hard in the Outback Bowl that, upon first viewing, I was legitimately worried if Smith's head was still in the helmet as it flew away from his body. 

Hits like that come around once in a generation, which is once more often than I'm sure Smith prefers. It was nice to see this hit get even more recognition. 

 

Inbee Park Gets Robbed

I doubt many people had Best Female Golfer highlighted as a "must-see award." And judging by the result of the online voting, not a lot of people are following the LPGA. 

Stacy Lewis, who won the award, is an outstanding golfer and she is ranked No. 2 in the Rolex rankings, but the fact that she won this award is a complete joke. 

World No. 1 Inbee Park is in the midst of one of the greatest stretches of golf the world has ever seen. 

She's won the first three majors of this LPGA season, and joined the legendary Babe Zaharias as the only female golfers to accomplish this feat. 

Park is arguably the most dominant figure in the sporting world right now. 

Apparently, this is not enough to win her an ESPY for best in her sport.