2020 has been a sports year unlike any other, but we've still witnessed plenty of incredible action. LeBron James won his fourth championship, the Dodgers ended their title drought and Naomi Osaka claimed her first U.S. Open. Even as the world battled the COVID-19 pandemic, athletes across the globe continued to deliver historic performances.
Sports Illustrated and Brooks Brothers have partnered to create and present–The "Play of the Year Award Presented by Yappa" to recognize these amazing moments.
Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos took home the honor for his pivotal goal in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
The 2020 nominees include:
• Alec Mills No-Hitter on Sept. 13
• Bam Adebayo Block in the NBA Finals Game 1
• Jon Rahm’s 66-footer in the BMW Championship
• Steven Stamkos Goal in Stanley Cup Game 3
Chicago has seen a run of no-hitters in recent years after a 36-year drought from 1972-2008. Right-hander Alec Mills tossed the most recent one in September. He fanned five batters in a 12-0 win over the Brewers and registered the no-hitter in his 15th career start. Mills finished 2020 with a 4.48 ERA in 62 1/3 innings.
Adebayo leapt into All-NBA consideration in his second season. The Kentucky product broke out in the NBA bubble. He averaged 21.8 points and 11 rebounds per game in the Eastern Conference finals but it was his block on Celtics forward Jayson Tatum that was perhaps the most memorable play of the season. Expect Adebayo to be a franchise anchor in Miami for years to come.
Jon Rahm is a consistent presence atop leaderboards in the PGA, registering three top-five major finishes since 2018. The 26-year-old won two tournaments in 2020 and delivered his top career highlight in the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields.
Rahm rolled in a 66-foot putt for birdie in a playoff against Dustin Johnson on Aug. 30. The putt gave Rahm his fifth career victory, though he has still yet to win a major entering 2021.
The Lightning claimed their second Stanley Cup in franchise history in 2020 when they defeated the Stars in six games. Tampa Bay won the title despite missing franchise stalwart Steven Stamkos for much of the series. Stamkos made a brief appearance in Game 3. The 12-year veteran scored on his first shot of the game and set the tone in a 5-2 victory. Stamkos certainly made the most of his three minutes on the ice in the pivotal series.
Along with "Play of the Year," SI will also recognize:
* Best Dressed, presented by JCPenney
* Breakout of the Year, presented by Emsculpt Neo
* Player of the Year, presented by Yappa
* Muhammad Ali Legacy Award, presented by Wheaties
* 2020 Sportsperson of the Year recipients
The all-new SI Awards will honor some of the best athletes in the world when it announces the winners on Dec. 19th. Tune into the free global broadcast starting at 7 p.m. ET streaming on Facebook via the Sports Illustrated Facebook page. The broadcast will also be simulcast by our partner LiveXLive across 20+ other platforms including SportsIllustratedAwards.com, LiveXLive, YouTube, Twitch, TikTok, Twitter and more.