Fresh on the heels of being named the “Social MVP” in the 2014 NBA Social Media Awards, Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard has been nominated in two categories for the 2014 ESPYS Awards (hosted by Drake!), which is the yearly award show put on by ESPN that lets the fans vote on achievements in sports.
First, Lillard is up for the “Best Breakthrough Athlete” award for his sophomore year performance in which he was named an All-Star and third-team All-NBA while helping the Trail Blazers win 54 games and advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs for the first time in 14 years. Lillard is up against Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka and Seattle Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman (which means there’s a 50/50 chance someone who works for Paul Allen is going to take home the hardware in this category). Going up against two NFL players and a guy who plays in one of the largest markets in the world for one of the most recognizable sports brands in the world is going to be tough, but Lillard has faced longer odds before.
And speaking of beating the odds, Lillard’s buzzer-beating, game/series-winning three-pointer in Game 6 of the first-round playoff series versus the Houston Rockets is up for consideration in the “Best Play” category.
ESPN runs the “Best Play” category like a tournament bracket, so to advance to the next round, Lillard buzzer-beater, which is seeded as the second best play behind only the 109-year kick return in this year’s Iron Bowl between Auburn and Alabama, will have to get more votes than the buzzer-beater by Syracuse’s Tyler Ennis versus Pitt.
As mentioned, the ESPYS are decided by fan vote, so if you want to support the work Lillard put in this season, get over to ESPN.com and start voting for him in both the “Best Breakthrough Athlete” and “Best Play” categories. You have through June 29 to vote for Lillard for “Best Play,” after which he’ll either be eliminated or will move on to face the winner of the Robert Van Persie header against Spain at the World Cup versus Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist save of a Thomas Vanek shot in the NHL Eastern Conference Finals. As for the “Best Breakthrough Athlete” category, you have until July 16 to vote, which is the same day the awards air on ESPN.