Who cares about the NBA championship? They were named the Best Team at the 2008 ESPY Awards.
Fast forward one year later. The Los Angeles Lakers redeemed
themselves from being embarrassed out of the 2008 NBA Finals, got the
job done against the Magic in 2009, and what do you know? This year, Kobe Bryant & Co. received the Best Team honor at the ESPN ceremony on July 15.
L.A. fought its way to a conference-best 65-17 record in 2008-09,
then defeated Utah, Houston, Denver, and Orlando en route to its 15th
The Lakers beat out UConn’s women’s hoops team, North Carolina’s
men’s basketball team, the Phillies, the Penguins, and the Steelers for
Phil Jackson also received an ESPY for the Best Coach-Manager.
Other noteworthy award-winners at the ceremony — hosted by Samuel L. Jackson in Los Angeles — included Michael Phelps (Best Male Athlete, Best Championship Performance, Best Record-Breaking Performance), Nastia Liukin (Best Female Athlete), the Falcons’ Matt Ryan (Best Breakthrough Athlete), and Florida’s Tim Tebow (Best Male College Athlete).