*Saturday night, December 19, 2020, is the date that will go down as the digital debut of the “SI Awards” which honored some of the best athletes in the world, including LeBron James.
The event was co-hosted by Cari Champion, Richard Jefferson, Chad Ochocinco Johnson and Lindsey Vonn, with performances by Shaquille O’Neal aka DJ Diesel, Steve Aoki and Gucci Mane.
As Sports Illustrated itself noted, 2020 has been an unprecedented year filled with the COVID-19 pandemic, a divisive presidential election and national conversations centered on social injustice and racial inequality. With the foregoing as the back-drop, the “SI Awards” awards aimed to recognize the Sportsperson of the Year winners and other notable athletes and team moments that made 2020 memorable.
The event also saw Lebron James being feted with the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award in honor of his social activism efforts during a year filled with uncertainty and division. And for the third time, James was named Sportsperson of the Year. James previously won the award in 2012 and 2016. This year, the Lakers’ superstar player is one of five recipients, joined by Breanna Stewart, Patrick Mahomes, Naomi Osaka and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.
- Sports Illustrated has recognized a Sportsperson of the Year since 1954. Tonight, for the first time SI gave the SPOTY award to 5 athletes: LeBron James, Naomi Osaka, Patrick Mahomes, Breanna Stewart and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
- SPOTY winners recognized for being activists off the field pushing social/human issues like BLM, voting, COVID
- Lebron given Muhammad Ali Legacy Award; took home 3rd SPOTY award (most awarded of any athlete)
- New awards including Player of the Year presented by Yappa, Breakout of the Year presented by Emsculpt Neo, and Best Dressed Athlete presented by JC Penny given
- Biggest night in sports hosted by Richard Jefferson, Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson, Lindsey Vonn, and Cari Champion
- Musical performances by Steve Aoki, Gucci Mane, and a special performance from Shaquille O’Neal aka DJ Diesel Presented by The General Insurance
- Nautica presented the 2020 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Year in Review and interviews with cover stars Kate Bock, Jasmine Sanders, and Olivia Culpo
SI Award Winners:
- Sportsperson of The Year (Winners): LeBron James, Naomi Osaka, Patrick Mahomes, Breanna Stewart and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
- Muhammad Ali Legacy Award Presented by Wheaties: LeBron James (Winner)
- Best Dressed Presented by JCPenney: DeAndre Hopkins (Winner)
Nominees: Odell Beckham Jr., Russell Westbrook and Skylar Diggins-Smith
- Breakout of the Year Presented by Emsculpt Neo: Jamal Murray (Winner)
Nominees: Donovan Mitchell, Myisha Hines-Allen and Shane Bieber
- Player of the Year Presented by Yappa: Mookie Betts (Winner)
Nominees: A’ja Wilson, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Novak Djokovic
- Game of the Year Presented by Brooks Brothers: Stanley Cup Game 4 (Winner)
Nominees: NBA Finals Game 3, Super Bowl LIV and World Series Game 4
- Inspiration of the Year: Maya Moore (Winner)
Nominees: Chris Nikic, Jaylen Brown and Sarah Fuller
- Play of the Year: Steven Stamkos Goal in Stanley Cup Game 3 (Winner)
Nominees: Alec Mills ‘No Hitter’ on Sept 13, Bam Adebayo Block in the NBA Finals Game 1 and John Rahm’s 66-footer in the BMW Championship
- SportsKid of The Year: JuJu Watkins (Winner)
- Team of the Year: Milwaukee Bucks (Winner)
Nominees: Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Lightning
source: Amanda Sprague / RMG