LeBron James, Serena Williams win athlete of year trophies at 21st annual ESPY Awards

  • Article by: BETH HARRIS , AP Sports Writer
  • Updated: July 18, 2013 - 7:59 PM
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LeBron James, right, presents the Arthur Ashe courage award to Robin Roberts, center, at the ESPY Awards on Wednesday, July 17, 2013, at Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.

Photo: John Shearer, Associated Press - John Shearer/invision/ap

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LOS ANGELES — LeBron James padded his trophy collection, receiving three at the ESPY Awards, including male athlete of the year for helping the Miami Heat win a second straight NBA championship.

James also won in the championship performance and NBA player categories, completing a sweep of the three awards he won last year. He shared in the best team award Wednesday night.

"We went through so much adversity," teammate Ray Allen said. "We did everything we could to fight, scratch and claw to put ourselves in that moment."

James beat out Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps for male athlete honors.

James mentioned his fellow nominees, then told them, "This is for all four of us, man, but I'm just keeping it at my house."

Serena Williams won two awards, including female athlete of the year. She defeated a pair of Olympians, gymnast Gabby Douglas and swimmer Missy Franklin, and former Baylor basketball star Brittney Griner. Williams didn't attend because she's playing a tournament in Sweden.

Peterson and Phelps also won two awards each.

Jon Hamm, the star of AMC's "Mad Men" and a noted St. Louis Cardinals fan, hosted the 21st annual show from the Nokia Theatre.

He joked it was "the world's largest gathering of people wearing sunglasses indoors" as the cameras caught James and NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick behind shades.

Hamm got in some digs about former Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard.

"We thought it would be nice to honor Dwight Howard with his greatest moments with the Lakers," Hamm said as no film clips appeared on the screen behind him while the crowd laughed.

Hamm noted the talk about possible suspensions resulting from baseball's latest drug investigation has included Alex Rodriguez.

"That's OK, Yankee fans are used to him not showing up for the second half of the season,"he joked.

Quarterback Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M won male college athlete honors after flying in earlier from Hoover, Ala., where he attended SEC media day. Griner, who now plays for the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury, won female college athlete.

Peterson won trophies for NFL player and best comeback, while Cabrera won as best MLB player.

Williams won female tennis player, giving her eight career ESPYs.

Phelps also claimed best male Olympian, while teenage swimming sensation Missy Franklin won best female Olympian.

Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers won as breakthrough athlete. Rick Pitino won as coach-manager for guiding the Louisville Cardinals to a national basketball championship.

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