The highly anticipated ESPYs hosted by ESPN is on the horizon and a special player from the Oklahoma City Thunder has been nominated for Male Athlete of the Year.
In a season that was supposed to be dull and somber, Russell Westbrook came to the rescue. Notching 42 triple-doubles and winning the NBA’s scoring title resulted in an MVP-caliber season that lifted the spirits of many Oklahoma City faithful. With those just being three of his many accomplishments, ESPN took notice, and he’s been nominated for the Man of the Year award.
This is an extremely incredible feat for Westbrook. Playing without his running mate and partner in crime for the first time in his career and getting handed a franchise with a team that isn’t necessarily suited for him offensively is challenging and very discouraging to the average superstar. However, Westbrook’s loyal tendencies led him to sign a contract extension shortly after the bomb was dropped on his shoulders. He didn’t complain, he didn’t look to get traded, he stepped up and showed out through 82 games while pulling the absolute best out of his teammates through his leadership and patience.
He is an incredible story and that story got 10x better after this season.
The other nominees
Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs. In an MVP season last year, he led the Chicago Cubs all the way to the World Series to win their first championship in 109 years.
Sydney Crosby, a guy that has the best compilation of work over the course of two seasons. He led the Pittsburgh Penguins to back-to-back Stanley Cups.
Michael Phelps for obvious reasons is on this list. Five gold medals in the 2016 Brazil Olympics and 23 gold in his career is hard to compete against.
In addition to the Man of the Year award, Westbrook was nominated for the NBA Player of the Year award. He’ll be going against two of his former OKC teammates: Kevin Durant and James Harden. Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James are the other two nominees.
Westbrook could get a hat-trick of awards at the ESPYs. He was also nominated for Best Record-Breaking Performance.
The ESPYs will be announced on ESPN on July 12 at 7 p.m.