The Seahawks won the award for best team and CB Richard Sherman claimed the honor of best breakthrough athlete at the ESPYs in Los Angeles Wednesday night, ESPN’s 22nd annual awards show.
Quarterback Russell Wilson provided a little love for the hometown folks when he said, “Just to be up here with all the other teams that were nominated is an honor. Most of all, to all our fans, the 12th man, bringing back the title to Seattle was special. Go Hawks!”
The Seahawks topped fellow champions in the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Florida State Seminoles football and Connecticut Huskies women’s college basketball.
Recording artist Drake’s opening monologue included a friendly shot at Sherman.
“I met someone who told me Richard Sherman was the best defensive back he’s ever seen,” he said. “That man was Richard Sherman.”
A former Seattle sports hero, Kevin Durant, took home a pair of awards — best male athlete and best NBA player, ending LeBron James’ two-year run in both categories. The former Seattle Sonic-turned-Thunder won his first Most Valuable Player award after leading the NBA in scoring.
“Everybody helped me out along the way,” Durant said. “My beautiful mom watching at home who couldn’t be here. My favorite teammate, Russell Westbrook.”
Durant beat out fellow male athlete nominees Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers, Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos and boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Manning won the ESPY for best record-breaking performance by setting records for most touchdown passes (55) and most passing yards (5,477) in a season. Manning, who won his fifth MVP award this past season, also won the ESPY for best NFL player.
Cabrera won best MLB player for the second year in a row after becoming the first player in 19 years to win back-to-back AL MVP awards while earning his third consecutive batting title with a career-best .348 average.
Mayweather, who cruised to a majority decision over Saul Alvarez to unify the light middleweight titles, then improved to a record of 46-0 with a decisive win over Marcos Maidana, won the ESPY for best fighter.
Mixed martial arts fighter Ronda Rousey won the ESPY for best female athlete for her continuing dominance of Ultimate Fighting.
Sounders FC players Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin took the stage with a half-dozen national teammates when the U.S. soccer team won best moment for its opening match victory over Ghana in the World Cup last month.