I have nothing against James, as he is easily the most athletic player in the NBA. However, Rodgers had one of the greatest seasons a quarterback has ever had in the history of the NFL. He set an NFL record with a 122.5 quarterback rating over the course of an entire season. He complete 68.3% of his passes for 4,643 yards while his 45 touchdowns were 39 more than the six interceptions he threw, and this was all in just 15 games.
Rodgers is the No. 1 ranked player in the NFL voted by the players and the league’s reining MVP. As great of a player he is on the field, he is an even better person off of it. I understand James is the recently crowned NBA MVP and does his fair share of charity work, but people can barely stomach the sight of him playing after he ditched the Cleveland Cavaliers to team up with fellow All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. I also understand the guy is coming off his first NBA Championship, even though it took him the longest out of any “star” player (nine years) to finally get a ring.
I do not know if it has to do with the NBA Finals being so close to the ESPY’s or what, but Dirk Nowitzki and James have not had better performances over the last two seasons than Rodgers. The quarterback did walk away with his second consecutive ESPY for NFL Player of the Year.
It is comforting to know I am not the only one who feels this way. Besides the hundreds of thousands of Packers fans (where were you during the voting process?) actor Jeremy Renner, who presented the award, looked rather upset after he revealed James had won. Once he opened the sealed envelope, the smile on his face turned to a frown as he barely muttered out James’ name. He then laughed it off, as the applause from the crowd was minimal.
I also enjoyed Renner’s joke in which he said: “And (James) joins us from Las Vegas (via satellite) which is really only a 45 minute flight away…”
Whether Renner was actually upset that James had won the award remains to be unknown, however, his reaction did seem a bit peculiar. Either way, in my opinion James had no business winning Best Male Athlete of the Year as Rodgers had a far more impressive statistical season.