ESPY 2014 Winners: Full Results and Biggest Snubs from Annual Event

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 18, 2014

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 16:  Host Drake speaks onstage during the 2014 ESPYS at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Although the ESPY Awards are not usually debated as much as other events, there were quite a few mistakes when it came to the winners. 

On the positive side, the ceremony featured a number of memorable moments. Michael Sam accepting the Arthur Ashe Courage Award was only trumped by Stuart Scott on his speech for receiving the Jimmy V Award:

There were few dry eyes in attendance or at home once the SportsCenter anchor was finished on stage.

However, the awards themselves featured quite a few interesting selections. Here is a complete look at the winners from Wednesday's show, followed by a breakdown of the biggest snubs.

2014 ESPY Award Results
AwardWinnerAwardWinner
Male AthleteKevin DurantJockeyVictor Espinoza
Female AthleteRonda RouseyMLS PlayerTim Cahill
MomentUSMNT vs. GhanaMale U.S. OlympianSage Kotsenburg
TeamSeattle SeahawksFemale U.S. OlympianJamie Anderson
Comeback AthleteRussell WestbrookInternational AthleteCristiano Ronaldo
Breakthrough AthleteRichard ShermanWNBA PlayerMaya Moore
Championship PerformanceKawhi LeonardMale GolferBubba Watson
GameAuburn vs. AlabamaFemale GolferMichelle Wie
UpsetMercer over DukeMale Tennis PlayerRafael Nadal
NFL PlayerPeyton ManningFemale Tennis PlayerMaria Sharapova
NBA PlayerKevin DurantMale College AthleteDoug McDermott
MLB PlayerMiguel CabreraFemale College AthleteBreanna Stewart
NHL PlayerSidney CrosbyMale Athlete with a DisabilityDeclan Farmer
DriverRyan Hunter-ReayFemale Athlete with a DisabilityJamie Whitmore
Coach/ManagerGregg PopovichMale Action Sports AthleteNyjah Huston
FighterFloyd MayweatherFemale Action Sports AthleteJamie Anderson
BowlerPete WeberPlayChris Davis in Iron Bowl
Pat Tillman AwardJosh SweeneyRecord-Breaking PerformancePeyton Manning
Arthur Ashe AwardMichael SamJimmy V AwardStuart Scott
via ESPN

 

Best Breakthrough Athlete

PORTLAND, OR - MAY 2: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers after the game against the Houston Rockets in Game Six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs on May 2, 2014 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. NOTE T
Sam Forencich/Getty Images

Winner: Richard Sherman

Snub: Damian Lillard

 

Richard Sherman is an extremely talented football player, but he does not really fit the qualifications for this award.

The cornerback had a "breakthrough" season in 2012 when he was named first-team All-Pro after a fantastic year. A year later, he had just as much success but became a household name based on his trash-talking ability.

Will Brinson of CBS Sports explained the situation perfectly:

In fact, Sherman's most memorable moment of the season came with his helmet off:

Drake provided one of his best one-liners of the night at Sherman's expense:

Conversely, Damian Lillard truly stepped up in his second season. Not only did he become an All-Star, but he also stole the show on All-Star Weekend while competing in the Rising Stars Challenge, Skills Challenge, Three-Point Competition and Slam Dunk Contest.

He then cemented his status as an elite player by making this series-clinching shot against the Houston Rockets:

Lillard has clearly established himself among the biggest stars in the league, something that never would have been said before the year started. This clearly makes him more of a breakthrough athlete than Sherman.

 

Best Championship Performance

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 11:  David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox doubles, scoring three runs in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on July 11, 2014 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Winner: Kawhi Leonard

Snub: David Ortiz

 

It's easy to forget about last season in baseball, but you cannot overlook David Ortiz when describing the best championship performances of the year.

Big Papi came through with one of the best World Series showings in baseball history last October. In six games, he hit .688 with a .760 on-base percentage and two home runs. This would be impressive on its own, but it is even bigger considering the rest of the team accumulated only a .169 batting average with two home runs in the same span.

If not for Ortiz, it is hard to imagine the Boston Red Sox coming through with a World Series title.

On the other hand, the San Antonio Spurs put forth a great team effort to defeat the Miami Heat, and Kawhi Leonard certainly had a strong showing in the series:

However, the squad also relied on the core of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, as well as Danny Green, Boris Diaw and others.

Leonard was good, but Ortiz was superhuman in his championship performance.

 

Best Moment

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 26:  Mariano Rivera #42 of the New York Yankees waves to the crowd after leaving the game against the Tampa Bay Rays in the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium on September 26, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mik
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Winner: USA Win Over Ghana

Snub: Mariano Rivera's Final Game

 

This is all about short-term memory from those who voted.

The United States national soccer team beat Ghana in dramatic fashion in the first World Cup match, thanks to a late goal by John Brooks. For all of the American fans watching at the stadium and at home, this was one of the better moments of the tournament.

While this ended up being the only victory for the United States in Brazil, there were plenty more big goals throughout the month-long event. From an international perspective, this was nothing out of the ordinary.

However, a moment that will live on much longer in the hearts of sports fans is Mariano Rivera's final appearance at Yankee Stadium.

The 19-year veteran, who was undoubtedly the greatest closer who ever played, had announced his retirement before the start of the 2013 season. When he was taken out for the last time at his home ballpark, it was not manager Joe Girardi who made the call. Instead, it was long-time teammates Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte:

Rivera—who had not shown much emotion on the mound throughout his career—broke down in tears. He shared his thoughts after the game, via Josh Vitale of MLB.com:

It definitely was a magical moment. I've had an opportunity to play for 19 years and give the best of my talents and my ability to this organization. Tonight it paid off. The fans, they definitely appreciate that. My family, my wife, my kids, the fans—it was amazing. A great night. We lost, so I don't know how I'm saying that, but it was a great night.

Kevin Durant's MVP speech was outstanding to watch as well, but Rivera's sendoff set the standard for how to treat a retiring player.

 

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