LOS ANGELES— On Wednesday, July 12 at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles the 2023 ESPY’s honored the best and heroic moments of the year. The awards show is ESPN’s opportunity to recognize athletic accomplishments on the field such as best team, and other individual awards.

The awards show also celebrated accomplishments off the field. The United States Women’s National Soccer Team was given the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage for their pursuit for equal pay.

Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin and the training staff responsible for saving his life received a huge standing ovation. They received the Pat Tillman Award for Service, for their efforts in the immediate aftermath of Hamlin’s collapse during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Hamlin went into cardiac arrest and needed to be revived on the field.

Best male athlete went to Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes led the Chiefs to a 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII. Best female athlete went to skier Mikaela Shiffrin, who broke the record for most World Cup victories with her 87th career win in March.

The Kansas City Chiefs won the award for best team.

Lil Wayne and H.E.R. both delivered strong musical performances. Which is no easy feat at a televised award show.

LeBron James was introduced by his lovely wife Savannah, who presented him as the winner of the best record-breaking performance. James surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all time scoring record in March at Crypto.com Arena, steps from the Dolby.

After thanking his “Queen” and children, James did a retirement fake-out announcement.

“The day I can’t give the game everything on the floor, is the day I’ll be done,” Abdul-Jabbar said as NBA and Laker fans held their collective breath.

“Lucky for you guys, that day is not today,” he concluded which got a raucous cheer. The chances of LeBron James retiring we’re very slim, especially after the incredible off season in which the Lakers got considerably better.

Still, it was nice to hear those words from the man himself.

It was a light-hearted party-filled atmosphere. Rather than tarnishing the past, it celebrated the power and future of sports in a joyful, optimistic way.