ESPY 2014 Winners: Awards Results, Recap, Top Moments and Twitter Reaction

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 17, 2014

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 16:  Host Drake speaks onstage during the 2014 ESPYS at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The 2014 ESPY Awards might not have been the biggest night in sports, but the event possibly boasted the highest volume of star power.

The worlds of sports and entertainment once again collided in Los Angeles for one of ESPN's biggest events of the summer. Drake, the show's host, was given the pressure of leading the way and providing a steady hand for the night's festivities.

Drake hit a nice balance between comedy and uneasiness with the opener. He had some good jokes and wasn't afraid to lay into some of the athletes inside the Nokia Theatre.

The highlight was arguably the "Lance Cam," which entailed Drake blowing in the ear of Lance Stephenson, much as the former Indiana Pacers guard did to LeBron James in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Drake and Stephenson then together and blew into the ears of Paul George:

The production crew had a little fun with Shabazz Napier, cutting away to the Miami Heat's first-round pick when Drake began talking about LeBron James' return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Napier's social media activity regarding LeBron has come under the microscope of late.

ESPN.com's Royce Young summed up the cutaway best:

Shortly after the monologue, the focus was on Drake once again, this time in a pre-taped sketch with Blake Griffin in which they tried to determine whose name would be first in a potential blockbuster movie. You can see the full skit below:

The most entertaining part of the video was each star impersonating one another, as seen here:

Of course, the ESPY Awards are about celebrating the top stars in sports. You can see the list of award winners below.

2014 ESPYs Results
AwardWinnerAwardWinner
Male AthleteKevin DurantJockeyVictor Espinoza
Female AthleteRonda RouseyMLS PlayerTim Cahill
MomentUSMNT vs. GhanaMale U.S. OlympianSage Kotsenburg
TeamSeattle SeahawksFemale U.S. OlympianJamie Anderson
Comeback AthleteRussell WestbrookInternational AthleteCristiano Ronaldo
Breakthrough AthleteRichard ShermanWNBA PlayerMaya Moore
Championship PerformanceKawhi LeonardMale GolferBubba Watson
GameAuburn vs. AlabamaFemale GolferMichelle Wie
UpsetMercer over DukeMale Tennis PlayerRafael Nadal
NFL PlayerPeyton ManningFemale Tennis PlayerMaria Sharapova
NBA PlayerKevin DurantMale College AthleteDoug McDermott
MLB PlayerMiguel CabreraFemale College AthleteBreanna Stewart
NHL PlayerSidney CrosbyMale Athlete with a DisabilityDeclan Farmer
DriverRyan Hunter-ReayFemale Athlete with a DisabilityJamie Whitmore
Coach/ManagerGregg PopovichMale Action Sports AthleteNyjah Huston
FighterFloyd MayweatherFemale Action Sports AthleteJamie Anderson
BowlerPete WeberPlayChris Davis in Iron Bowl
Pat Tillman AwardJosh SweeneyRecord-Breaking PerformancePeyton Manning
Arthur Ashe AwardMichael SamJimmy V AwardStuart Scott
ESPN.com

Ronda Rousey took home the award for Best Female Athlete in a decision that can have few dissenters, mostly because she'll lock you in an armbar if you thought somebody else should've won. In all seriousness, Rousey is one of the most dominant athletes in sports, full stop. She was a deserving winner.

On the male side, Kevin Durant added another award to his already full trophy case. The Oklahoma City Thunder star had the best individual season in basketball last year, so it made sense that he walked away with Best Male Athlete.

Though he couldn't match some of those in attendance in terms of star power, Michael Sam was a true highlight of the night with his acceptance speech after he won the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

He spoke from the heart, recalling his story and the difficulties after he announced he was gay. Sam closed with some advice to those who might be having trouble feeling accepted. You can see two of the more powerful statements below, per the ESPY Awards Twitter account:

Sam's speech was met with near universal praise on social media.

Kathryn Lucchesi, who's a multimedia director for the Missouri football team, tweeted out how proud she was of the former Tigers star:

Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star and Baseball Prospectus' Joe Hamrahi both commented that the moment stood in contrast to most of the fluff and fun from the show:

Jim Valvano's speech from the 1993 ESPY Awards has taken on an almost mythic quality in the event's history. Over time, perhaps Sam's speech can take on the same kind of importance.

And just when everybody was coming down from that, ESPN SportsCenter anchor Stuart Scott was given the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance. Scott delivered an emotional, heartfelt speech about his ongoing battle with cancer that resonated throughout the crowd. It was cut straight from the Valvano cloth in that Scott was equal parts introspective and defiant.

At the end of his speech, he shared an onstage embrace with his daughter:

ESPN anchor Doug Kezirian tweeted out that the speech had broken even the normally stoic Gregg Popovich:

Another ESPN anchor, John Buccigross, saluted his SportsCenter colleague:

The 2012 Jimmy V Award winner, Eric LeGrand, also offered kind words for Scott:

Sam and Scott were undoubtedly the highlights of the night. Their respective speeches were incredibly moving and powerful.

When the 2014 ESPY Awards are discussed down the line, those two will dominate the discussion.