The Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts lead the way with six ESPY nominations this year.
ESPN announced the nominees Monday morning. Fans will vote for the winners in 38 categories, and the awards show airs July 15 from Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre.
Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, who will co-host the event with ABC late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, is nominated in three categories, including Best Male Athlete.
The national champion Tennessee women’s basketball team has the second most nominations with five, including Best Team.
The other Best Team nominees are the Florida men’s basketball and football squads, the San Antonio Spurs, the Colts and the St. Louis Cardinals. Women have won the ESPY for Best Team twice: the Connecticut basketball team in 1996 and the U.S. World Cup soccer team in 2000.
There won’t be a repeat in the Best Male and Female Athlete awards. Cyclist Lance Armstrong, who won the men’s honor four consecutive years, has retired, and golfer Annika Sorenstam, who won the women’s title two years in a row, is not nominated.
James is pitted against tennis’ Roger Federer, the NFL’s Peyton Manning and LaDainian Tomlinson and golf’s Tiger Woods in the men’s category. The women’s nominees are the WNBA’s Lisa Leslie, Arizona softball’s Taryne Mowatt, golfer Lorena Ochoa and Tennessee basketball’s Candace Parker.
Woods, who is also nominated in two other categories, holds the records for the most nominations (30) and wins (16). He is one of three athletes with a chance to be honored as the best in his sport for a third consecutive year, joining Federer and baseball’s Albert Pujols.
A new award for Best Finish has been added this year. And the Best Boxer award has been renamed Best Fighter to include mixed martial arts competitors as well as boxers.
Two special awards are not voted on by fans. The Arthur Ashe Courage Award is presented to individuals whose contributions transcend sports. The new Jimmy V Award for Perseverance will be presented to a person whose performance has evoked emotion and provided inspiration to the sports world.
Story Courtesy: AP Wire Reports