The 2022 ESPY Awards are scheduled to air live at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST on Wednesday, July 20, 2022. It will be broadcasted from Los Angeles on ABC.
This year, the show will be distributing some well deserved awards; like the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage, which will be given out to Vitali Klitschko, previous professional boxer who is now the mayor of Kyiv. You also have the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance, which will be received by long-time basketball broadcaster Dick Vitale. To round out the special awards category, the Pat Tillman Award for Service, will be given out to retired Army Command Sergeant Mayor Gretchen Evans.
Top 10 Nominations
10. Candace Parker– Chicago Sky- Parker has had a terrific WNBA career and she is also a person of high character and morals. She also is dipping her toes into the broadcasting piece by being a guest analyst on Inside the NBA on TNT with the guys (Ernie Johnson, Shaq, Charles Barkley, Kenny “The Jet Smith”) and she does a great job. I don’t think Parker should even consider retiring as she loves being around the game of basketball as well as many celebrities and mentors who have inspired her career and her journey in life.
9. Sunisa Lee– USA Gymnastics- Lee has dealt with a lot in her life at a young age. The biggest challenge for her was when she had to take Simone Biles lead role during The 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. She handled it very well and won lots of medals for the USA. She also took on another fun task in September of 2021 when she was a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. Like Biles, she advocates for athletes in mental health and supported Biles decision to drop out of the games.
8. Katie Ledecky– Swimming- Ledecky wowed the crowd this year at the 2022 NCAA National Championship and was cheered on despite not winning. Ledecky is very loyal to US Swimming and is helping advocate the young female swimmers to have more representation in the sport.
7. Cooper Kupp– Los Angeles Rams- Super Bowl LVI- Down 20-16 late in the game, Matthew Stafford drove the Rams down the field on a 15 play drive. Kupp capped the drive off with a one-yard touchdown that would prove to be the game winner. Stafford and Kupp were in sync for that drive like Tom Brady was for all of his Super Bowl game winning drives. To bad that was football, other wise we would call the Vince Lombardi Trophy the “Cooper Kupp”.
6. Ja Morant’s POSTER– Best Play- What world would we be in if the next best superstar in the NBA didn’t show off his POSTER Dunks that wowed Grizzles fan all season. Morant’s most crazy one was in a home game on Feb 28 against the San Antonio Spurs when he caught a fast break pass from teammate Stephen Adams and threw it down. It just makes me want to sing, Ja-Ja-Ja-Ja-Ja-Morant (to the tune of Barbara Ann by the Beach Boys).
5. Golden State Warriors- Best Team– Now a lot of Dub Nation of course will wonder why I don’t have them rated higher. The Warriors are at Number Five because it’s not a surprise that they are a dynasty. It’s amazing the roster they’ve built and the style they play of shooting about 50-3 pointers a game. It works, especially when they defeated one of the best defensive teams in the NBA in the Boston Celtics in this year’s finals. Give credit to Steve Kerr and his staff for keeping the glue together during this amazing stretch.
4. Hansel Emmanuel- With the Play of the Year– What a story this young man has to tell. The Dominican basketball player lost one of his arms when he was only six-years-old due to an old concreate wall falling on his chest while playing with his friends. Now at 18, the athlete born in 2004 showed the world what he could do with only one arm and a prosthetic arm. Not letting that get in the way of chasing his dream to play in the NBA, Emmanuel took the ball between his legs and slammed it down for a life changing and inspirational dunk.
3. Klay Thompson- Golden State Warriors- Best Comeback Athlete– The one third of the splash bros is back and better than ever. After suffering a complete tear of his ACL, Thompson responded with a vengeance, returning to the old Klay Thompson. He averaged 20.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.8 assists. Also, he came back and won another ring for Dub Nation. While he faces some tough competition ahead, he has a good chance to win this award.
2. Justin Tucker’s 66-yard NFL record field goal- Best Play– If we want to talk about one of the best kickers in the last several years or so, it would have to go to Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens. Tucker has one of the strongest legs in the league and in a game. Where as the Dallas Cowboys are still struggling to find a kicker. The Raven’s have nothing to worry about. Tucker’s 66-yard-field goal beats the old record of 63 set by Philadelphia Eagles Kicker David Akers in 2006.
1. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals- Best Comeback Athlete– I don’t care how much you like or dislike the Bengals now third-year quarterback. To have your rookie season cut short by an ACL injury, then come back in 2021 and lead your team to the Super Bowl, is no easy task. Also, beating Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium is awesome. Especially when you don’t have the same firepower as the Chiefs, especially when they are coming into the game as huge underdogs.
I say it will be either Burrow or Thompson. What do you think?