LOS ANGELES - There is only one day in the entire calendar year that features no NFL, NBA, NHL, or MLB games, and that day was Wednesday. But the sports media didn't take a day off, instead hosting the ESPY awards to honor another remarkable year in sports - and what a year it was for Boston in particular! The Boston Bruins made it all the way to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals and the Boston Celtics made it to the elite eight of the NBA. The Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots, of course, won their respective championships. So it stood to reason that the ESPYs would be a night to honor many Boston moments from the past year.
Between Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, and the Red Sox, Boston baseball received four nominations. They ended up losing in each category, but it's an honor, as the cliche goes, to be nominated. The loss of Best Team to the US Women's Soccer team, in particular, was hard to find fault with.
The Patriots, on the other hand, had two nominations, and while they also lost Best Team, they did get to see one of their own win Best Moment. Rob Gronkowski, who attended the ceremony with Captain Obvious from the commercials for Hotels.com, shared the Best Moment ESPY with Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade and Olympic skier Lindsay Vonn as the show honored their careers as they all enter retirement.
The best part of the show, however, was definitely Bill Russell. A Celtics, basketball, American, and global legend, Russell was named the 2019 recipient of the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage, the most prestigious award of the night.
Russell's pioneer status as a boundary-breaker and his contributions both on and off the court make him long overdue for this award, which was introduced to him by such varied talent as President Barack Obama, Kobe Bryant, Samuel L. Jackson, and Tori Kelly. It was awesome to see the eighty-five year old legend on stage and still going strong. Congratulations, Bill Russell! You'll always be one of the greats.
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