Stephen Curry, Candace Parker Headline Nominees for 2022 ESPY Awards

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJune 28, 2022

Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

The nominees for the 2022 ESPY Awards were announced Tuesday, headlined by newly crowned NBA champion Stephen Curry.

Curry will battle Aaron Rodgers, Shohei Ohtani and Connor McDavid for the best male athlete, while Candace Parker will try to win best female athlete against Olympians Oksana Masters, Sunisa Lee and Katie Ledecky.

Fans will get a chance to vote for each award at ESPN.com, with the winners announced during the July 20 event.


Best Athlete, Men's Sports

  • Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
  • Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
  • Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels
  • Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

Best Athlete, Women's Sports

  • Candace Parker, Chicago Sky
  • Oksana Masters, multisport athlete
  • Sunisa Lee, gymnastics
  • Katie Ledecky, swimming

Best Team

  • Colorado Avalanche, NHL
  • Golden State Warriors, NBA
  • Chicago Sky, WNBA
  • Atlanta Braves, MLB
  • Los Angeles Rams, NFL
  • Oklahoma Sooners, NCAA Softball
  • Georgia Bulldogs, NCAA Football

Best Championship Performance

  • Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams — Super Bowl LVI
  • Julianna Pena, MMA — UFC 269
  • Max Verstappen, F1 — Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
  • Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche — Stanley Cup Final

Best College Athlete, Men's Sports

  • Bryce Young, Alabama football
  • Dante Polvara, Georgetown men's soccer
  • Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga men's basketball
  • Logan Wisnauskas, Maryland lacrosse

Best College Athlete, Women's Sports

  • Aliyah Boston, South Carolina basketball
  • Jaelin Howell, Florida State soccer
  • Jocelyn Alo, Oklahoma softball
  • Charlotte North, Boston College lacrosse

Best Breakthrough Athlete

  • Trinity Rodman, Washington Spirit
  • Eileen Gu, skiing
  • Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts
  • Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies

Curry certainly has recency bias on his side after helping the Golden State Warriors win the NBA title. The eight-time All-Star won his fourth ring but first Finals MVP Award after averaging 31.2 points per game in the six-game series against the Boston Celtics.

On the other hand, he wasn't the regular-season MVP in his sport like Aaron Rodgers or Shohei Ohtani.

Rodgers won his second straight NFL MVP this season with the Green Bay Packers and fourth of his career after leading the league with a 111.9 passer rating. Ohtani completed a historic season on the way to winning AL MVP in 2021, starring as both a hitter and pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels.

McDavid finished second in voting for the Hart Trophy, but the Edmonton Oilers star set a career high with 123 points, enough to lead the NHL for the fourth time in his career.

In the women's sports category, Parker will try to win her second ESPY after earning the award in 2008. The 36-year-old helped the Chicago Sky win their first WNBA title in 2021, getting her sixth All-Star selection in the process.

Lee and Ledecky were stars at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which took place in the summer of 2021. Lee was the surprise winner of the women's gymnastics individual all-around, while Ledecky won two gold medals and two silvers, adding four more gold medals in the recent 2022 world championships.

Masters competes in the both the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games, taking home three medals in the 2022 Winter Games in para cross-country skiing and para biathlon.

Among the other notable categories is the best championship performance, which features Los Angeles Rams star Cooper Kupp. Cale Makar is another nominee after leading the Colorado Avalanche to the Stanley Cup title, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy in the process.

UFC women's bantamweight champion Juliana Pena and Formula One winner Max Verstappen also have a chance to win the award for their title-winning efforts.


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