The 2023 ESPYS took place at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, but this year had a unique twist as it went without a host due to the Hollywood writers’ strike. Nevertheless, the celebration of sports went on, bringing together athletes from various disciplines on Wednesday night.
One of the standout winners of the night was Patrick Mahomes, the quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs. Mahomes took home two prestigious awards, Best Athlete in Men’s Sports and Best NFL Player. In addition to Mahomes’ individual recognition, the Chiefs were honored with the Best Team award. Other notable honorees included Mikaela Shiffrin, who won Best Athlete in Women’s Sports, Angel Reese, who was named Best Breakthrough Athlete, LeBron James, who received the award for Best Record Performance, and Lionel Messi, who was recognized for his outstanding championship performance.
The event featured an array of presenters, including Damar Hamlin, Dwyane Wade, Travis Kelce, Sue Bird, Mike Tyson, and Livvy Dunne. Notable musical performances were delivered by Lil Wayne and HER, who paid tribute to the 30th anniversary of the V Foundation and Jim Valvano’s iconic 1993 ESPYS speech. The comedic talents of Peyton and Eli Manning were also showcased in a lighthearted sketch.
In addition to the competitive awards, special recognition was given to deserving individuals and teams. The US women’s national soccer team was presented with the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage, honoring their inspiring achievements. Liam Hendriks, a pitcher for the Chicago White Sox and a cancer survivor, received the Jimmy V. Award for Perseverance. The Pat Tillman Award for Service, presented by MassMutual, was bestowed upon the Buffalo Bills training staff, acknowledging their exceptional dedication.
The ESPYS also highlighted the significance of sports in promoting humanitarian efforts. Several individuals and teams were honored with Sports Humanitarian Awards, including Jrue Holiday of the Milwaukee Bucks and Lauren Holiday, a retired member of the US Women’s National Team, who received the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award. The Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award was presented to Jordan Adeyemi, Ashley Badis, and Rishan Patel. Dr. Richard Lapchick was recognized with the Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award, and the San Antonio Spurs were celebrated as the Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year.
Overall, the 2023 ESPYS provided a platform to celebrate outstanding athletes, commendable performances, and the positive impact of sports in society. It was a night filled with appreciation, inspiration, and the recognition of resilience and dedication in the world of sports.
See the full list of 2023 ESPYS winners below:
Best Athlete, Men’s Sport: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Best Athlete, Women’s Sports: Mikaela Shiffrin, Ski
Best Breakthrough Athlete: Angel Reese, LSU Women’s Basketball
Best record performance: LeBron James surpasses Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for NBA career
Best championship performance: Lionel Messi, Argentina – World Cup final
Best Comeback Athlete: Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets
Best play: Justin Jefferson with the Catch of the Century
Best team: Kansas City Chiefs
Best College Athlete, Men’s Sports: Caleb Williams, USC Football
Best College Athlete, Women’s Sports: Caitlin Clark, Iowa women’s basketball
Best athlete with a disability: Zach Miller, Snowboarding
Best NFL Player: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Best MLB Player: Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels
Best NHL player: Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
Best NBA Player: Nikola Jokić, Denver Nuggets
Best WNBA Player: A’ja Wilson, Las Vegas Aces
Best driver: Max Verstappen, F1
Best UFC Fighter: Jon Jones
Best boxer: Claressa Shields
Best soccer player: Lionel Messi, Argentina/PSG
Best golfer: Scottie Scheffler
Best tennis player: Novak Djokovic