The ESPYS: 7 Most Unforgettable Moments From the Sports Awards Show

ESPYS Serena Williams, Jamie Foxx
Carlo Allegri/Getty Images

Tennis great Serena Williams is the master of ceremonies for The 2024 ESPYS, taking place Thursday, July 11, in Los Angeles and airing live at 8pm ET on ABC.

It’s the perfect match, since she won 12 of the awards during her career and has been involved in some of the show’s funniest moments. Remember Jamie Foxx serenading her with “Can I Be Your Tennis Ball?” in 2003 (and the remix in ’04)?

“This is a dream come true for me, and something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember,” Williams says. “It has been a sensational year for sports and an unprecedented one for female athletes.”

We picked seven of our favorite humorous and heartfelt moments from the event’s history:

7I’m Not Losing (2014)

During his acceptance speech, ESPN’s Stuart Scott told the world, “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and the manner in which you live.” Scott’s fight ended in January 2015.

6The Decision (2010)

Paul Rudd and Steve Carell spoofed LeBron James’ infamous “The Decision,” with Carell announcing, “I’ve decided I’m going to take my appetite to the Outback Steakhouse.”

5Will Does Woods (2008)

Will Ferrell accepted the Best Male Athlete Award for — and asTiger Woods, closing with “What can I say? I’m the best! In your face! Goodnight, everybody!”

4My Prerogative (2007)

LeBron James did his best Bobby Brown impression for a musical parody of “My Prerogative,” singing, “No one can tell me what to do! Stop all the hate and buy my shoe!”

3Coach Do Dirty (2003)

In character as excitable Coach Do Dirty, Jamie Foxx drew up a play for violating NCAA rules and creating scandals. He also told Keyshawn Johnson where to shove his Super Bowl ring.

2The Greatest (1997)

Sidney Poitier presented the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage to Muhammad Ali for his peace activism. The ESPY for individual humanitarianism is named in Ali’s honor.

1Don’t Ever Give Up (1993)

At the first ESPYS, former basketball coach and ESPN analyst Jim Valvano delivered one of the most inspirational speeches ever. Valvano died from cancer the following month, and the ESPY Award for Perseverance is named for him.

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